Below, you’ll find the full poem ‘The Buck in the Snow’ by Edna St Vincent Millay. It explains death’s ability to cross all boundaries and cause loss even in the most tranquil of times

The Buck in the Snow

White sky, over the hemlocks bowed with snow,

Saw you not at the beginning of evening the antlered buck and his doe

Standing in the apple orchard? I saw them, I saw them suddenly go,

Tails up, with long leaps lovely and slow,

Over the stone wall into the wood of hemlocks bowed with snow.


Now lies he here, his wild blood scalding the snow.


How strange a thing is death, bringing to his knees, bringing to his antlers

The buck in the snow.

How strange a thing, a mile away by now, it may be,

Under the heavy hemlocks, that as the moments pass,

Shift their loads a little, letting fall a feather of snow –

Life, looking out attentive from the eyes of the doe.

Edna St Vincent Millay

Thanks for reading! If you’re studying this particular poem, you can buy our detailed study guide here. This includes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Story + Summary
  • Speaker + Voice
  • Language Feature Analysis
  • Form and Structure Analysis
  • Context
  • Attitudes + Messages
  • Themes + Deeper Ideas
  • Key Quotations
  • Extra tasks / possible essay questions