Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with — some will be delighted to hear —

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and — clap your hands — the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Billy Collins's poem Snow Day


  1. deslk pensile says:

    This poem is most definitely about world war 2. These innocent people were forced to endure hard conditions and prattle to the Germans or else they would be assailed. They were not “willing” to do anything.

    • Ace says:

      I have to disagree. The statements made within this poem are much exaggerated. I believe it is about a snow day, so states the title. Billy states, “schools and libraries buried,” which is an exaggerated reference to the heavy amount of snow on the ground, do to the snow storm.

  2. nicole says:

    wow way to long and to hard to put on a document for school WAY TO LONG

  3. mckyle says:

    This poem is a good poem but wayy too long to memorize for a laguage arts class

  4. ninzi says:

    dis poem was gweat! i wiked da snow boots on da giwl. gweat job biwwy!

  5. Jim K. says:

    Notice How Everything Shuts Down, and how he uses the sensual imagery to shut down every sense but touch…this is when the school children are most in touch with life, I feel he is saying, when they are living their lives OUTSIDE the classroom.

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