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The Silken Tent Analysis



Author: Poetry of Robert Frost Type: Poetry Views: 7840

A Witness Tree1942She is as in a field a silken tent

At midday when the sunny summer breeze

Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,

So that in guys it gently sways at ease,

And its supporting central cedar pole,

That is its pinnacle to heavenward

And signifies the sureness of the soul,

Seems to owe naught to any single cord,

But strictly held by none, is loosely bound

By countless silken ties of love and thought

To everything on earth the compass round,

And only by one's going slightly taut

In the capriciousness of summer air

Is of the slightest bondage made aware.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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First it is about a women the first line of the poem clearly a metaphor \"She is as in a field a silken tent,\" she is as gives way to the understanding that the silken( being a resilient fabric, but also sensuous and graceful) tent is a women. . A couple oxymora used are loosely bound, slightly taut, and slightest bondage which all presents the same meaning and idea that she is bound yet still has her freedom. The full meaning of the poem is A good woman will never tighten things up, and will free the members of her house hold and herself to be all that they can be in the guy wires of her love which anchor and secure them so they can go out into the world. You could read the poem as if the tent was only a tent but to feel the true power of Frost\'s words envision the women.
Thank You.

| Posted on 2012-09-03 | by a guest


.: :.

\"Bondage\" doesn\'t mean sexual bondage, for crying out loud, it\'s not about being tied up in bed. \"Guys\" doesn\'t mean men, it means guyropes. \"Taut\" doesn\'t mean \"taught\"! Have you people no culture, no education?

| Posted on 2012-07-11 | by a guest


.: :.

I don\'t know why any of you - indeed nearly all of you - are discussing this poem as though it were a love poem or about a woman. There isn\'t any hint anywhere of it being about a woman or a lover. It\'s surely about the bondage of form itself - Robert Frost was always a very formal poet, concerned with craft and technique. In other words, it is a poem about poetry.

| Posted on 2012-07-11 | by a guest


.: :.

See, I saw it as about frosts daughter growing up!!! The \"ties\" are her relationships: when it was morning (her childhood) the ropes were wet, and taught (her parents were more strict, with more rules, to protect her) whereas as she grew older, the water evaporated and hence \"the ropes relent\" and her parents and friends allow her freedom. She appears free and happy, but her parents are still there with a \"silken cord\" to keep her safe.
Of course, it could also be about women\'s rights: in the past they were kept under many strictures, and men held them taught and prevented them from doing anything: they were treated as property. In present day, women are given more freedom. Yet even with this being the case, men still control them with a lax cord - this is implied by the ominous nature of the last lines, with the inclusion of the word bondage, and the final couplet which seems to have a more ominous air than the rest of the poem. This could be saying that even though women appear to have rights in today\'s society, they are indeed under many more strictures than it appears. Its a feminist poem.
Now, I would argue that this is the brilliant thing about frosts (and inded many other poets; Edward thomas for example) work; poetry is so multi faceted that it cannot be analysed to have one individual meaning! The poems in fact refers to a daughter, women\'s rights, someone he loves, a mother tied to her family (everything except the obscene attempts to insult this poem that have been made by the many people on here who have tried to twist the image of a tent into something sexual; to the comment earlier about \"bondage\", you sir are an obscene idiot! You do realise that frost lived during the early 20th century, and hence the word bondage referred to slavery rather than a sexual act???) and many more things; truly a beautiful, multi faceted poem!

| Posted on 2012-06-27 | by a guest


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Nowhere in the poem is the lady free.You could say perhaps that freedom is an illusion because there is this motion caused by the elements that give one a sense of freedom. Yet, she is loosely bound. She is not \"strictly held\" by the cords, which almost lose their physicality when Frost compares them to \"countless silken ties of love and thought.\" Have you ever heard of the ties that bind?
It appears that the woman is a servant to everything on earth. She is a helpmate and, as far as I can tell, surely she is the closest thing to an anima in Frost. There are women galore in Frost but none handled so delicately as this one.
Where there\'s an anima, you\'re probably going to find an animus. This would be the \"central cedar pole,\" steadfast and true, I believe,which serves as a phallic symbol representing a man, or, maybe more correctly, Man.
It is either about the union between Frost\'s ideal man and woman, or it\'s just a poem about a tent.

| Posted on 2012-06-22 | by a guest


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I wonder why it must be about a woman . . . or a human for that matter . . . it could as easily describe a butterfly . . .

| Posted on 2012-06-19 | by a guest


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I believe the poem is about a man, describing a woman as a silken tent. The extended metaphor is a perversion of the sonnet form because sonnets often change course or add nuance in the final couplet. However, Frost has chosen to completely uproot much of his imagery by undermining it in his final lines. The idea that there is bondage in the life of this woman, or indeed, potentially in the life of every woman, means that the freedom expressed earlier in the poem is a lie.
- SMCM Student

| Posted on 2011-09-01 | by a guest


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silken tent implies a woman in different locations. it can be a contrast in between a liberated woman to a conservative one. all we know, it is different .

| Posted on 2011-06-28 | by a guest


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i\'m really against the one who compares the silken tent with a ship;and as said an other one above frost spoke about about a field and not about sea.
indeed yhe fact of comparing the woman in question to silken tent in a field shows that the woman is soft and she lives in a community(the field).we can,thus,see that \"the ties of love and thought\"by which the woman is bound are anything else but the rules of the society and more precisely the person around her.
this a beutiful poem and a good comarison to the human body.
by Saadi Tachrifa,Comorian

| Posted on 2011-05-29 | by a guest


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As mentioned, there is a definite theme of \"freedom within confinement\" here. I took this poem as alluding to the sense of security that most citizens of 1st-world countries have. The \"ties of love and thought\" seem to be the many organizations and laws set up to protect us. We become truly aware of the ties\' power when we forget that we are bound by laws etc (ie we break the rules). Also, I am reminded of law enforcement shutting down protests, which are supposed to embody \"freedom of speech\", by the last 3 lines

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest


.: :.

This is interesting. I had to write an explication about The Silken Tent today so I googled it after the exam to see if I was close to the intended meaning. I interpreted it as a poem about a man in love with a woman who had the ability to calm men. I guess everyone can take from this poem what they want. But it\'s still not about a ship.

| Posted on 2011-03-03 | by a guest


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I believe it to be very fascinating how the order of this poem pays no difference to the poems meaning and themes. I really enjoy this poem and to me it is a lot like Nothing Gold Can Stay, not just because it was written by again, Frost, but because the way the words flow and what they can relate to make sense in both pieces.

| Posted on 2011-01-20 | by a guest


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in this poem, a man is trying to seduce a woman. The man compares his desire for the woman as being a silken tent. He wants to bring this particular woman to his tent in the middle of the woods in hopes of having sex with her. The line \"seems to owe naught to any single cord\" means that once inside his tent, he wants to play the piano in hopes of \"wooing\" this woman. I also found many hidden references to fruit. Because of these references, I am to guess that the man has also planned a picnic for the two of them.
Thanks

| Posted on 2010-10-26 | by a guest


.: :.

Silkent Tent can be interpreted many ways. It is a beautiful poem that affects each person differently. In college, we had many discussions on this particular poem and the majority of us felt this was the story:
It is about a mother or woman...She is the pinnacle pole of the family. As winds blow(events) that may cause chaos and disruption, she remains strong and stead fast, all the while, maintainng her Femininity and beauty. When one string pulls (children, work, hubby) she is such a stong loving pinnacle of a being, she can bend toward the pain and mend, all the while, being able to keep the other strings (kids, work , hubby) close to her heart. So no one feels without support or love from her. It is a love poem written in respect for the Pinnacle Woman in the family. Or your life.

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest


.: :.

Silkent Tent can be interpreted many ways. It is a beautiful poem that affects each person differently. In college, we had many discussions on this particular poem and the majority of us felt this was the story:
It is about a mother or woman...She is the pinnacle pole of the family. As winds blow(events) that may cause chaos and disruption, she remains strong and stead fast, all the while, maintainng her Femininity and beauty. When one string pulls (children, work, hubby) she is such a stong loving pinnacle of a being, she can bend toward the pain and mend, all the while, being able to keep the other strings (kids, work , hubby) close to her heart. So no one feels without support or love from her. It is a love poem written in respect for the Pinnacle Woman in the family. Or your life.

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest


.: :.

Silkent Tent can be interpreted many ways. It is a beautiful poem that affects each person differently. In college, we had many discussions on this particular poem and the majority of us felt this was the story:
It is about a mother or woman...She is the pinnacle pole of the family. As winds blow(events) that may cause chaos and disruption, she remains strong and stead fast, all the while, maintainng her Femininity and beauty. When one string pulls (children, work, hubby) she is such a stong loving pinnacle of a being, she can bend toward the pain and mend, all the while, being able to keep the other strings (kids, work , hubby) close to her heart. So no one feels without support or love from her. It is a love poem written in respect for the Pinnacle Woman in the family. Or your life.

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest


.: :.

I\'ve always seen this as an internal discussion of poetry and the sonnet form. Iambic pentameter throughout, ABABCDCDEFEFGG in rhyme; note how the last two lines become the breeze that make one aware of the sonnet requirements, the slight bondage.

| Posted on 2010-07-29 | by a guest


.: :.

This is clearly about a bum or homeless women who feels the freedom on bright sunny day. She is clearly camping alone in a field where only hobo's are and she is expressing her love for the freedom and solitude.

| Posted on 2010-02-17 | by a guest


.: :.

This is an erotic poem that uses diction to suggest the act of human lovemaking--the silken tent is the female vulva/labia majora. The poet is trying to express his "bondage" to a significant female who has enraptured his soul.

| Posted on 2009-09-02 | by a guest


.: :.

Indeed the paradox of this poem is "freedom within confinement." The woman in the poem is bound to the people around her by "love and thought," but she still finds freedom in being so. Thus, Frost has chosen to write a sonnet - it has a form to which the text is bound/confined, but still expresses freedom. This is also shown when Frost has written the whole poem in one sentence - the lack of full stops also show freedom and movement until the very end.

| Posted on 2009-08-23 | by a guest


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This poem talks about woman in field of love like a silken and with broken heart. She has tried to dry her tears but she still cry (ropes relent).after what happened with her she didn’t like to deal with guys, she was not escape she didn’t like to fall in love again. She still strong like cedar pole and that represent how she trusted in herself to forget what happened. Nobody helped her to bears that she depended on herself because she (loosely bound) widely tied to the people around her. With too much love and thoughts and slightly tied to everything on earth that guide her to truth.

| Posted on 2009-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

I interpret this poem as about a woman is transparent to him as being strong, yet soft and gentle(silken); that is a free spirit, yet has ties to keep her grounded. She is strong (cedar pole) and independent flowing in the breeze of her desires but not forgetting those in her heart that hold memories and ties to her life.

| Posted on 2009-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

hahaha, wow, these are perhaps the most shallow and/or ignorant explanations for the poem. Robert frost would be appalled. The poem expresses the nature of a love relationship by describing the woman that the speaker is in love with. Like silk, she is light, smooth and precious, as is the relationship he shares with her. The spiritual dimension of the relationship is unveiled when the speaker focuses on the woman's soul in that however planted in the earth it is, it still reaches "heavenward", another example of the diction that promotes an understanding of something spiritual that is part of that relationship. It is described as "cedar" which is the imagery that provides the firmness and resilience to the wind.
And who in the world thought that this was about a ship. that's ridiculous. the center pole is the center support for the tent which is the temple of her body.

| Posted on 2009-04-20 | by a guest


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If u are writing a poetry explication, Just write about how this poem is about love and 2 peeps in a relationship the literal meaning is diffrent however. BTW go play world of warcraft.

| Posted on 2009-04-04 | by a guest


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Umm.. To the person who said this poem is about a ship
The first line says "She is as in a field a silken tent"
A Field.. Not a sea..

| Posted on 2009-03-19 | by a guest


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The central pole is pointed heavenward. This shows that the man only chooses things for their beauty. He is comparing everything to a girl that he loves and wants.

| Posted on 2009-01-26 | by a guest


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This poem is clearly about a ship. The silken tent is a sail. When all of the ropes relent, the central pole (the mast) seems to be supported by nothing. In fact, it is held up by figurative tethers that connect it to everywhere in the world. It is only when one of these goes taught (the boat ships out), that the real tethers become visible again.

| Posted on 2009-01-23 | by a guest


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1. Read the poem above and then retell the story in your own words. This is called paraphrasing. Soul is like a beautiful body on earth. When the ropes of the tent slacken the soul is content with being on earth. Part of the soul that is connected to god is free but also bound. Bound by family and relationships on earth. Unaware of being tied to earth. Unaware of its freedom and origin.
2. What is this poem about? This poem is about the soul being unleashed into earth. It is about its freedom and that the part of the soul that connected to god was its sturdiness, its way of freedom but with loose bounds.
3. The poet is drawing a comparison between two things? What are they? They are the silken tent and the human body.
4. How do you know Frost is making this comparison? Cite an example of the wording in the poem that makes you believe this. “She is as in a field a silken tent.” The poet is comparing a human being to a silken tent.
5. What is the mood of this poem? (sad, happy, calm, amused, surprised, wondering frightened etc.) I would say that this poem is reflective, touching and very thoughtful. What words help to develop that mood? When I analysed it, it made a lot more sense and I could realize that the meaning of this poem was beautiful.
6. What literary device(s) is used in this poem? The literary devices used in this poem are similes, alliteration and reflection. What is the purpose of using that/those? I think that it all swings the thoughtful, touching mood of happiness.
Anonymous

| Posted on 2008-12-02 | by a guest


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pfft....this is just talking about how this girl is incredibly infatuated to a guy needing space. They end up having sex with eachother...which does signifigant damage relationship. BUT...the silken ties and cords from their passionate love ("central pole") keep eachother from going away from one another. and at the end it makes it even more apparant that it's about sex because it mentions something about bondage. lol.

| Posted on 2008-08-27 | by a guest


.: The Silken Tent :.

More surely than any other Frost poem, this uses the traditional form of the Shakespearean Sonnet with its formal beauty and precise rhythm scheme. These reflect the aesthetic effect the girl has on him. This comes closer to becoming a love poem but still avoids the clichés. The simile of the tent compels the reader to consider closely this conceit. More metaphysical than lyrical it allows us to enter the thought world of the girl

By James Purdon

| Posted on 2007-05-19 | by a guest


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the poem is great. it demonstrates the woman's power and ties to a man. though woman have freedom, they are held back like a dog on a leash being tugged at when trying to run too far. oh yea... the person before me cannot i repeat... CANNOT SPELL!

| Posted on 2007-02-19 | by a guest


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<i>The Silken Tent</i> is an extended metaphor for the ties of moral fiber that urge us to a higher morality, and the capricous nature of our own integrity. Frost shows us that it is only by our love and strength in the belief of one another that we are able to uphold our virtues.

Frost conveys through both his use of sibilance in his diction and by utilizing the rhyme scheme the impression of swaying precariously in a summer breeze, symbolic of the temptations and subjugations that our fragile human nature is prey to. The significance of the ryhming couplet is a resolution, a reassurance by conveying stability and emphasising our strength in one another. That our silken tent is able to withstand the summber breeze, not because of it's central support, but through the support of it's ties. I'm reminded of one of the many analects I find printed accross the tags of my green tea: you have style and panache. More relevent, I think, would be "The mind is a gift to asses harmonize."

| Posted on 2005-12-01 | by Approved Guest


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This poem is an extended metaphor for relashinships. It tells about the good and bad in them and that while they can set one free from choice, they will always be there, tying one down, no matter for good or bad. the Central cedar pole is refuring to the sould of "she" and also it can be compared to the center of a relashinship. Also, only by one pusing the limits to a relashinship do they realize how strong the strings are, holding them into it.

| Posted on 2005-03-17 | by Approved Guest




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