Explanation of the Poem

Stanza 1

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree


The poet, Robert Frost, recounts a small incident that changes his mood. It seems very simple but it has a great significance. The poet was, once, very depressed and hopeless. He was in a state of sorrow and was lost in his thoughts. He was standing under the hemlock tree. Suddenly a crow, that was sitting on the tree, shook the tree and the fine particles of snow from the tree fell on the poet.

Stanza 2

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I rued.


When the soft and cold snow fell on the poet, it changed his mood from the state of sadness to happiness. He started feeling soothed (peaceful and refreshed).  This simple incident helped him enjoy the remaining part of the day. He, thus, became happy as it saved his rest of the day from being wasted and held in regret.

Central Idea of Poem

The ‘Dust of Snow’, by Robert Frost is a small and simple poem with a deep meaning. It expresses the significance of small things in changing one’s attitude. The poem explains that the little things in life can make huge changes in our future. It also reflects that hard times in the life will lead to the happier times if we can persist with it.

Poetic Devices Used in the Poem

Rhyme scheme : abab

Symbolism : Hemlock tree, Crow

Irony : A contrast between reality and expectation, between what is said and what is meant, between what appears to be true and the real truth. Rue is also a plant that is cultivated for its medicinal use. There is a bit of irony here that the poet refers to the poisonous Hemlock and the medicinal Rue.