[PDF Notes] V. Cold, delicately as the dark snow

A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;

Two eyes serve a movement, that now

And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints in the snow,

Between trees……

Across clearings, an eye, widening deepening greenness, brilliantly concentrated, coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page are printed.

1. What is the fox looking for?

Even though there is no explicit mention of what the fox is looking for, it is obvious to imagine that it is looking for its food. However the poem is not certainly about a fox searching its food. The fox is a metaphor, a metaphor for man’s intellectual hunting for appropriate creative expres­sions. The touching of “twig, leaf is a part of the process of creativity.

2. Do you think the poem is written in the symbolist tradition?

There is a significant difference between a poem’s being symbolic and its being in the symbolist tradition. The poet doesn’t follow the symbolist tradition as such. The poem is an extended metaphor, comparing the fox with human intellect, and all the imageries are built upon this parallel.

3. Do you think the poet draws a parallel between animal and human activity?

The poet of course draws a parallel between animal and human activity; however it is not a simple comparison between man and animal nature. The parallel is drawn as a metaphor and there seems to be no intention on part of the poet to compare human being with animals as such. In this poem the animal and its animalist loose importance in the face of what they have been compared to

4. Explain the significance of the concluding line.

The concluding line “The page is printed” bears almost the entire load of the poem’s significance. It is at its conclusion that we realize that the fox is not a fox and that its searching for food in a dark wood is only a metaphor for the creative process through which the intellect has to go in order to find expression.

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