“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

The poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost written in 1923, pictures a setting of a scene with wood and in a snowing evening that is hauntingly barren and pastoral. The great works of Frost were seen as a gift and his poem stopping by the woods in a snowing evening is presented and viewed to be a musical poem with the application of great rhythm and having a direct touch that enhances the calmness and assuring nature of the poem(Heitman, 35). The analogy of the poem presents two varying messages that could be liked with the blues music whose rhythm would be sly and charming inspiring smiles on the audience even though their messages are sad and dread. The calm rhythm used by the author suggests on how everything was alright s the message of the words showed how everything was not alright. Through an in-depth analysis of the poem this essay shows the major theme of the poem that is the central concentration of fulfilling promises and accomplish duties of life without distractions presented by the pleasures of life, thus showing the theme of duty and responsibility that is generated from the last stanza, ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep’ (Heitman, 35). Fulfilling promises and accomplish of duties presented in the poem is a lesson that is projected for the audience especially being adult thoughts. The lesson shows that no matter how one needs to stop and need to stay for the pleasure of nature promises have to be met as well as responsibilities. The idea of accomplishing and fulfilling duties and promises is developed throughout the poem by the use of literary elements such as repetition, rhythm, personification, mood, euphony and the title of the poem.

Most people have often assumed the poem to be a contemplation of death with most of the power based on the line and notion of the author that the woods were “lovely, dark and deep” (Frost, 13). The poem developed by frost was open to interpretation and with the bittersweet complexity of his life, it was assumed to show the complex mix of the transcendent and the tragic in the human experience (Heitman, 36). The author shows the theme of fulfilling promises as well as accomplish duties when he states that before he can rest, he “had miles to go” (Frost, 15&16). Analyzing the poem title ‘stopping by woods on a snowing evening’ shows how the author could not help but be arrested by the beauty and lovely sight of the woods which elaborates on how nature provides a respite from the society and work demands. The author, however, even though allowing himself the small respite from worldly concerns, he pulls himself together nudging himself to move on. The theme is developed clearly in the concluding passages that elucidate the central theme of fulfilling promises and accomplishing duties through the following passages. ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep’ (Frost, 13-16), these last sentences to reveal that he was aware that he had miles to go as well as emphasize the responsibilities that are pressing through the use of repetition in the poem. By analyzing this last stanza, the author shows the use of regular rhythm that ends with ‘deep, keep, sleep and sleep’ capturing the conflict between human and nature, as well as showing the differences between the promises and obligations that adults have in life. The main point of the poem is shown through analyzing the traveler from an adult perspective, stopping in woods to admire beauty until when he decided to restart his journey when he realizes his duties. The second stanza analyzing shows use and application of personification whereby the author personifies the thinking of the horse when it stands as if it understood the owner’s urge to stop ‘My little horse must think it queer’ (Frost, 5). Imagery is used to develop the setting of the poem helping the audience to picture the woods, how dark they were and snowy showing the power of nature that made the traveler stop despite having responsibilities ‘Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep’ (Frost, 12-13). The story applies euphony when the author takes us through the woods that ought to be scary but the pleasing sound provides calmness and comfort that the traveler wishes to stay without the troubles of the world. “the only other sound’s the sweep / of easy wind and downy flake” (Frost, 11-12) lines of the poem sets the artful mood of the poem which is relaxing that as well shows the realization of the traveler that he has to move on. Parini as well quotes Robert Penn Warren in support of the theme whereby “A native takes, or may take, a place for granted; if you have to earn your citizenship, your locality, it requires a special focus.” (Heitman, 36). this shows that in the poem concentration is required to fulfil the promises and accomplish responsibilities as well.

Developed with many themes the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost was open to interpretation by the reader. The literary devices used in the poem, however, analyses the central theme of the poem to be duty and responsibility that shows on fulfilling promises and accomplishing duties one needs concentration. Use of repetition, rhythm, personification, mood, euphony and the title of the poem emphasizes on the important lesson the poem intends to articulate which is everything is alright as compared to the interpretation of the poem meaning death. The regular rhythm that is steady throughout the poem shows that there is nothing odd from the ordinary in the poem at all. The poem tends to show the realization and the self-awareness the traveler had on his duties as compared to the argument that the author was contemplating death.

Works cited

Frost, Robert, and Susan Jeffers. Stopping by woods on a snowy evening. New York: Dutton, 1978.

Heitman, Danny. Verses and Adverse. 2014. Pdf file