‘Frosty the Snowman’ as Climate Change Allegory


by Erik Kennedy

The old silk hat is geoengineering—that’s clear:
the thing that animates the melting snow, keeps it
alive on a hot, desperate day. It’s a fantasy,
magical thinking that spurs the dying to dance around
in the heat of the sun and call it ‘some fun’.
His eyes made out of coal . . . in the allegory, they’re coal.
To see with eyes of coal is to see density and utility
in everything, to count progress in units of melted snowmen.
The corncob pipe, which could smoke through the long nights,
is a factory of nostalgia, a rural dream of simple industry,
old values fuelled by new harms, a contradiction.
It is a polite fiction. Its smoke seems strangely happy.
Less happy is the traffic cop, the powerless enforcer.
His one word—‘Stop’—stops no one. Worse,
it drives Frosty away, beyond reach or regulation,
a vague ‘I’ll be back again some day’ his unassessable promise.
The traffic cop is Kyoto, Copenhagen, Paris.
And the button nose? That’s you, my dear,
adorable but out of place on a snowman’s face,
a memorable detail we all are glad was there.
You didn’t make a difference, and neither do I.
We’re like Frosty’s wave when he waved goodbye.


About the Author:

Erik Kennedy is the author of the chapbook Twenty-Six Factitions (2017) and the full-length collection There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime (2018).

Cover image by Ryan via Flickr (cc).