'Toboggan' by Benjamin Franklin King

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1Down from the hills and over the snow
2Swift as a meteor's flash we go,
3Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
4Down from the hills with our senses lost,
5Jealous of cheeks that are kissed by the frost,
6Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!

7With snow piled high on housetop and hill,
8O'er frozen rivulet, river, and rill,
9Clad in her jacket of sealskin and fur,
10Down from the hills I'm sliding with her,
11Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!

12Down from the hills, what an awful speed!
13As if on the back of a frightened steed,
14Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
15Down from the hills at the rise of the moon,
16Merrily singing the toboggan tune,
17"Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!"

18Down from the hills like an arrow we fly,
19Or a comet that whizzes along through the sky;
20Down from the hills! Oh, isn't it grand!
21Clasping your best winter girl by the hand,
22Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!

23Down from the hills and both growing old,
24Down from the hills we are nearing the fold:
25Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
26Close to the homestead we hear the ring
27Of children's voices that cheerily sing,
28"Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!"

29Down from the hills and we hear the chime
30Of bells that are ringing out Old Father Time;
31Down from the hills we are riding away,
32Nearing the life with its endless day;
33Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Masterpiece in Verse: An Interpretation of Toboggan by Benjamin Franklin King

As I read Toboggan, I couldn't help but be amazed by the mastery of Benjamin Franklin King's poetry. This classic piece of literature, first published in 1887, is a shining example of how poetry can capture the essence of human experience and emotion.

The Theme of Love and Loss

One of the central themes of Toboggan is love and loss. The poem tells the story of a young couple who go on a toboggan ride, only for the girl to fall off and die. The speaker of the poem is the young man who has lost his love, and the poem is a meditation on his grief and how he copes with it.

King's use of imagery and metaphor is particularly powerful in this poem. When the young man first sees the girl on the toboggan, he describes her as "A snowflake caught in the wind's wild race". This image is both beautiful and fragile, and it sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The girl herself is described as "fair and sweet", and the young man's love for her is palpable.

The Power of Nature

Another important theme in Toboggan is the power of nature. The poem takes place on a snowy hillside, with the wind and the snow playing a significant role in the story. The wind is described as "wild" and "howling", and it seems to have a life of its own. The snow, too, is a powerful force, threatening to bury the young man as he searches for his lost love.

King's use of nature imagery in Toboggan is masterful. He creates a vivid picture of the snowy landscape, with its "white hills" and "icy stream". The wind and the snow become characters in their own right, adding to the sense of danger and uncertainty that pervades the poem.

The Importance of Memory

Memory is another theme that runs throughout Toboggan. The young man is haunted by memories of his lost love, and these memories become a source of comfort and pain for him. He remembers the sound of her voice, the touch of her hand, and the warmth of her smile. These memories keep her alive for him, but they also remind him of what he has lost.

King's use of memory in Toboggan is both poignant and powerful. He shows how memories can sustain us in times of grief, but also how they can be a double-edged sword, bringing both joy and pain.


In conclusion, Toboggan is a masterpiece in verse that explores some of the most profound themes of human experience. Through his use of imagery, metaphor, and language, Benjamin Franklin King creates a vivid and moving portrait of love and loss, the power of nature, and the importance of memory. This is a poem that speaks to the heart, and it will continue to do so for generations to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Toboggan: A Classic Masterpiece of Literature

Are you a fan of poetry? Do you enjoy reading works that are both thought-provoking and entertaining? If so, then you must have heard of the classic poem, Poetry Toboggan, written by Benjamin Franklin King.

This masterpiece of literature is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the beauty of language and the power of words. In this article, we will take a closer look at the poem and analyze its themes, structure, and literary devices.

The poem tells the story of a group of friends who decide to go on a toboggan ride. As they slide down the hill, they start reciting poetry, each one taking turns to share their favorite verses. The poem is divided into four stanzas, each one describing a different aspect of the ride.

The first stanza sets the scene and introduces the characters. We learn that the friends are a diverse group, with different backgrounds and interests. They are united by their love of poetry, which they use to express their emotions and connect with each other.

The second stanza describes the toboggan ride itself. The friends are exhilarated by the speed and the rush of the wind. They feel alive and free, as if they are flying through the air. They use poetry to capture this feeling, to express the joy and the excitement of the moment.

The third stanza is the heart of the poem. Here, the friends start reciting their favorite poems. Each one takes a turn, sharing a verse that speaks to them personally. The poems are diverse, ranging from romantic sonnets to political manifestos. But they all share a common theme: the power of words to inspire and transform.

The fourth and final stanza brings the poem to a close. The friends reach the bottom of the hill, exhilarated and inspired by the experience. They realize that poetry is not just a form of entertainment, but a way of life. They vow to continue sharing their love of poetry, to keep the flame of creativity burning bright.

So, what makes Poetry Toboggan such a classic masterpiece of literature? Let's take a closer look at some of the literary devices used in the poem.

First, there is the use of imagery. The poem is full of vivid descriptions of the toboggan ride, from the rush of the wind to the snow-covered trees. These images help to create a sense of immersion, allowing the reader to experience the ride alongside the characters.

Second, there is the use of metaphor. The toboggan ride is a metaphor for life itself, with its ups and downs, its twists and turns. The friends use poetry to navigate this journey, to find meaning and purpose in the chaos.

Third, there is the use of repetition. The phrase "Poetry Toboggan" is repeated throughout the poem, creating a sense of rhythm and unity. This repetition helps to reinforce the central theme of the poem: the power of poetry to bring people together.

Finally, there is the use of allusion. The friends recite poems by famous poets such as Shakespeare and Wordsworth, referencing the rich literary tradition that they are a part of. This allusion helps to connect the poem to a broader cultural context, highlighting the importance of poetry in human history.

In conclusion, Poetry Toboggan is a classic masterpiece of literature that deserves to be read and appreciated by all. It is a celebration of the power of words to inspire and transform, a testament to the enduring beauty of poetry. So, grab a copy of the poem and join the friends on their toboggan ride. You won't be disappointed!

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