Velvet Shoes (A Snow Poem)

Snow Forest (photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Snow Forest (photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

For several days, we haven’t had classes at Wake Tech because of snow. What are you doing during this time? Do you like snow? Do you like cold?

I like to take a walk in the park when it snows. It is silent and beautiful. Every time I walk in the snow, I think about a poem called “Velvet Shoes” by Elinor Wylie. This poem describes two people walking in the snow. It is a quiet, soft poem.

First, let’s look at some vocabulary:

velvet : a soft fabric

soundless : without sound, quiet (adding -less to a word makes it negative: harmless, heartless, loveless, painless, etc.)

tranquil : peaceful, quiet

gull : a white ocean bird; seagull

down : feathers

dew : the water on the ground in the morning

More Notes: 

The poem repeats the word “shall.” This word is not common now. Now we use the word “will” (future tense). You will also see the word “shod.” This is not a common word. It means “wearing shoes.” “Shod in silk, shod in wool” means “wearing silk shoes, wearing wool shoes.”

When you read this poem, you can click on the blue words for a picture of the vocabulary word.

Velvet Shoes

by Elinor Wylie

Let us walk in the white snow

          In a soundless space;

With footsteps quiet and slow,

          At a tranquil pace,

          Under veils of white lace.


I shall go shod in silk,

          And you in wool,

White as white cow’s milk,

          More beautiful

          Than the breast of a gull.


We shall walk through the still town

          In a windless peace;

We shall step upon white down,

          Upon silver fleece,

          Upon softer than these.


We shall walk in velvet shoes:

          Wherever we go

Silence will fall like dews

          On white silence below.

          We shall walk in the snow.


Practice. Answer “yes” or “no”. 

1. The two people are running in the woods.

2. All of their clothes are white (white sweater, white dress, white pants, white shoes…).

3. It is windy.

4. It is quiet.

5. They are singing loudly.

Practice again. Write the correct vocabulary word.

1. In the morning, I see ________ on the flowers and on the grass.

2. I enjoy spending a ______________ evening at home reading a book or listening to classical music.

3. You see many _________s at the ocean in the summer.

4. Some people like _________ pillows because they are very soft.

5. In the winter, it’s good to wear __________ pants, but in the summer, cotton is better.

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