Throughout the poem “Winter Alone” by Maxine Tynes, the reader has the chance to take a glimpse into the life of someone who suffers from polio. Tynes uses an exceptional word choice enhancing the feeling of solitude all through the piece. Her hope in writing this poem is to have the reader understand the imprisoned life style of an individual who has the disabling virus, polio.
The mood of the poem is automatically set as soon as you read the first line. “Winter solitude,” opens up the piece and immediately has the reader embrace the loneliness that they are about to experience. Directly after being versed on the isolated and lonely mood, we learn from the lines “Memories from my fifth, my tenth year of winter alone” that the speaker has been secluded their entire childhood. The way Tynes jumps from the fifth to the tenth year of being in winter solitude creates an ever lasting feeling of seclusion and being left behind. The reader is starting to be able to take into consideration the perspective of a child who of course, just wants to be able to go outside and play.
It’s obvious as we continue further into the poem that the speaker has literally watched the winters pass before their eyes. The line “The pane of my isolation,” has a double meaning. Tynes uses the word pane to enforce the fact that the speaker spends a fair amount of their time behind a window pane envying the children at play. However, it also represents the actual emotional pain that the speaker suffers by being withdrawn from the care free years of their childhood. The window pane is the barrier that stands between the speaker and their dreadful virus of polio and the outside world of free movement.
Clarity to the fact that the speaker has polio is revealed to the reader throughout the lines “By legs and feet undone, not heeding the neuron call, to move, to move.” The reader understands that the speaker feels as if their legs are not connected to their...