Find as many changes in the skater as possible
In the first stanza the skater doesn’t move, just sits on the ice admiring his skates and thinks of himself as a god of the skates. The skater experiences the world as being as still as him; a world that is tamed, that lays like some sort of an animal; maybe the world is waiting for him to conquer it. He is describing a silent world, frozen and glimmering like and ice-colored stream. Then he discovers a pathway which seems made for him and other wonderers like him. He feels on a path to discovery of hidden palaces where winter’s keepers are sleeping peacefully. The skater moves on through the silence and soon he gets the feeling that he awoke a sleeping beast with the noise made by his skates. The skater forgets about the wind and the nature around him for a while as he pays attention only to his mind until he tires and he feels the blood rushing to his brain. When the joy of skating becomes to tiresome that it is almost painful, the skater stops from his power skating and simply drifts for a while. When he stops, he pays once again attention to the nature around him and he feels suddenly frightened. Again he gets the feeling that the noise he made awoke the wilderness. Feeling scared and alone, the skater turns around and runs away realizing that no one should disturb nature.
Using quotes, explain each mood
Strength and pride – The skater feels “the god of the winged heel”
Alone but not isolated; a sense of wonder; admires the world that stands still – “The world lay still in the wide white frost”
Sense of discovery – “where I and the wondering might pass”
Attraction – “I followed the lure”
Concentrated on his mind, the skater separated himself from nature – “as faster and faster I followed my mind”
Tiresome mood – the skater goes and faster until he feels physical pain – “the joy of my flight was almost pain”
Surprise at the sight of nature he ignored for a while – “grew bit with the awe”
Scared; feels lonely and isolated – “In the deep of my heart I heard my fear.”
Select 2 quotations from the poem and show how each reflects a different mood.
In the beginning of the poem the skater expresses a sense of pride and a sureness of self by comparing himself with a god. The idea of god here probably means “master” of the skates, implying that the skater is very skilled. It is also implied that the skater is still and is analyzing his next move; prepares himself for intense skating. What the beginning suggests is that the skater is off to conquer nature using his skills but, by the end of the poem this feeling changes. After attempting to conquer the solitary nature, the skater ends up feeling alone and scared. From being “the god,” he ends up saying that he “deep in my heart I heard my fear,” right before he turns around and runs away from the lonely and terrifying nature.