Neutral Tones


- End of Relationship = description of relationship

- death

- loss

- Presentation of colour & weather =  'Neutral Tones' = pathetic fallacy

- cyclical structure

- absense of colour/feeling

- end of unhappy relationship

- soft yet colourless

- bitter sweetness

- Winter scene presented

- weather reflects feelings of poet

1 of 5

1st Stanza

Whole of Stanza is soft and understated

'sun was white, as though chidden by God' 

- colourless and boring

- told off by God for being too bright when everything is bleak

-suggests sadness and loss

'they had fallen from an ash'

- fire burnt out 

- cold after warmth of fire

- symbolic of our mortality 

- we all must die

2 of 5

2nd Stanza

'your eyes on me were as eyes that rove' = suggests unfaithfulness and lack of emotion

- 1st half of sentence with sign of love

- 2nd half contrasts 

'over tedious riddles solved years ago'= doesn't understand

- frustration over puzzles

- dull (lost interest) 

'somewords played between us to and fro' = 'played' like a game = unimportant

- 'some' vague and unimportant

- 'to and fro' not going anywhere very repetitive


- no meaning, care, effort to get it back = tired and bored

3 of 5

3rd Stanza

'the smile on your mouth was the deadest thing'

- 1st half of sentence contrasts 2nd half of sentence

- they feel as dead as they possibly could but yet are alive

'grin of bitterness'

- juxtapostion creates a contrast emphasised by assonance

- ominous - bitter sweet

'like an ominous bird a-wing...'

- simile

- ominous - bad bird - raven or vulture

4 of 5

4th Stanza

'god-curst sun'

- links with description of sun in the first paragraph


- links with 1st stanza 

- shows cyclical structure - all things end - repetitive and boring like love life

'grayish leaves'

- more neutral

- shows change

5 of 5


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