Antipoetry in “Winter” by William Shakespeare

In the poem Winter by William Shakespeare, one is able to identify¬† anti-poetry tools being utilized. Anti-poetry is an attempt to divert from the “ordinary” styles of poetry. This includes diverting from the expected “happy or beautiful” poems that readers tend to expect from poets. In the poem “Winter”, Shakespeare presented winter in a realistic point of view. Although some of the lines did in fact possess some sort of beauty, the majority of the poem portrayed winter in a manner that many are familiar with. For example, the poem began with the phrase “When icicles hang by the wall.” When someone is asked to describe winter, especially in a poetic sense, he/she might mention icicles, snowmen, sheets of snow that cover the city, and the beauty of snow falling from the sky. However, in the poem Winter Shakespeare mentioned aspects that might be overlooked. For example, in the second stanza Shakespeare wrote, ” When all aloud the wind doth blow; And coughing drowns the parson’s saw; And birds sit brooding in the snow; And Marison’s nose looks red and raw.” In this stanza, the reality of the wind blowing and how the chilly weather affects both the animals and people are described.

I believe anti-poetry is a poetic tool that should be used more often. It provides the reader with a sense of reality; in a way providing the poem with a kiss of originality and beauty. When a reader reviews a poem with anti-poetry they are faced with familiar aspects of life because the poet did not try to hide reality with fantasy. In the book Western Wind, the authors stated, “The poet who sees only those details that flatter our fondest hopes has one eye closed to reality.”

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