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Desert Places Analysis



Author: Poetry of Robert Frost Type: Poetry Views: 8269

A Further Range1936Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast

In a field I looked into going past,

And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,

But a few weeds and stubble showing last.The woods around it have it-it is theirs.

All animals are smothered in their lairs.

I am too absent-spirited to count;

The loneliness includes me unawares.And lonely as it is, that loneliness

Will be more lonely ere it will be less-

A blanker whiteness of benighted snow

With no expression, nothing to express.They cannot scare me with their empty spaces

Between stars-on stars where no human race is.

I have it in me so much nearer home

To scare myself with my own desert places.






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

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I think the persona in Frost\'s \'Desert Places\' is experiencing depression. He feels as if he is unable to express himself; his melancholy outlook is obscuring the way he is viewing life. The poem generally emphasises solitude and isolation and pathetic fallacy of the snow underpins this.

| Posted on 2012-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Desert Places is the poem of frost.Desert means isolation ,barren,loneliness and infertile.it is about fear from death that is natural phenomenon.it is pessimist image. imrancm18 UE okara MA English 4th semester

| Posted on 2012-02-26 | by a guest


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The title of the poem, Desert Places, not only suggests the deserted field, but the speakers deserted and lonely mind as well..

| Posted on 2012-02-12 | by a guest


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i think it wants shows he is alone. and he is endure the coldnesses and darknesses of life. (that snow is coldness and the night is darkness) when it says BUT But a few weeds and stubble showing last. i think want say there can be a hope.

| Posted on 2011-11-20 | by a guest


.: :.

Parody on “Desert Places”
A Light upon my Life
This world will come to ruin, with everything dark,
the light that is within will but illuminate the dark,
and upon this land I can do nothing but brood,
and live in this place that is turning so dark.
Everything has been made to live here, dark,
lonely, living together, without light in the dark,
and will find no company in each other,
the only thing in my company is the blinding dark.
This dark will be lonely, finding no fellow dark`
find no appropriate mate in light the dark,
and this darkness will be fully manifest with light,
and the light will illuminate the plain trait of dark.
But nature’s dark will make my joy not dark,
the spaces between dark, is darkness within dark,
but this darkness is nothing of importance to me
and in my personal life, I find places of true dark.

| Posted on 2011-05-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Parody on “Desert Places”
A Light upon my Life
This world will come to ruin, with everything dark,
the light that is within will but illuminate the dark,
and upon this land I can do nothing but brood,
and live in this place that is turning so dark.
Everything has been made to live here, dark,
lonely, living together, without light in the dark,
and will find no company in each other,
the only thing in my company is the blinding dark.
This dark will be lonely, finding no fellow dark`
find no appropriate mate in light the dark,
and this darkness will be fully manifest with light,
and the light will illuminate the plain trait of dark.
But nature’s dark will make my joy not dark,
the spaces between dark, is darkness within dark,
but this darkness is nothing of importance to me
and in my personal life, I find places of true dark.

| Posted on 2011-05-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Themes:
• Isolation and loneliness; the fear of insecurity within the human psyche
• The destructive power of nature to physically isolate animals. Natures ability to inspire thoughts introspection.
• Death; its inevitability and in-exclusivity.
Imagery:
• Sense of urgency as nature is swiftly covering everything with snow  “Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast”  The snow and darkness of night has rather sinister connotations, and may be an allusion to the all-encompassing nature of death.
• “But a few weeds and stubble showing last.”  This may be the fear of being left to die after one’s loved ones have since already passed. It also serves to remind us that this was originally a cultivated field, as man has sculpted nature, perhaps an allusion to man’s attempts to resist the inevitability of death.
• “All animals are smothered in their lairs.”  The indiscriminate blanket of death and isolation.
• “I am too absent-spirited to count”  The double –entendre of “count” obscures the meaning. Either Frost’s “absent-spirited[ness]” is a reference to his preoccupation with the worry of isolation and death, to the extent that he cannot think clearly, and is hence unable to count. Or Frost is so “absent-spirited” and devoid of emotion that he is not part of nature, and is therefore not included in the natural umbrella of death, hence doesn’t “count” in the sense that he is not included.
• “A blanker whiteness of benighted snow With no expression, nothing to express.”  The blankness of snow is in itself potentially isolating and confusing, since there is literally nothing to see. Furthermore, whilst nature itself has nothing to express, it can force humanity, (and indeed Frost) as an outsider, to assess his own psyche.
• “They cannot scare me with their empty spaces…I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.”  Frost is not intimidated by the physical isolation that the snow brings, but is scared by the thoughts that this provokes. The desertion and emptiness requires him to examine his own psyche, and on this introspection Frost realises his isolation and inevitable death, and is reasonably scared by this.
Meaning:
• Nature cannot itself express anything, but in its sparseness it evokes introspection. Physical isolation does not intimidate Frost, but the thoughts that it leads to do scare him, as it spurs him to examine the isolation of himself and his own psyche.
Josh B

| Posted on 2011-05-01 | by a guest


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Everyone is allowed a different interpretation in poetry. Personally, I think that Robert Frost is the best poet to read if you want to think. I think that the snow might represent conformity or most likely, death. When you think about it, life comes from death, as spring comes after winter. You eat to survive, and the items you eat have died to be consumed by you. But this poem isn\'t about spring or new life, it\'s about a man being isolated from a form of society by death hence the snow. The speaker sounds as though he is alright with being isolated because he is not scared of being the only one around. He is more scared of the emptiness inside of him rather than the fact that he is surrounded by snow, woods, and an empty field.

| Posted on 2011-01-04 | by a guest


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i believe this poem is about a man, who is lonely, and chooses to stay lonely although he had support because he feels that even though people say they want to help and listen he feels as if what he has to say is not important enough.
you get the sense of him being lonely throughout thee entire poem
" i am too absent-spirited to count;" i think he feels too unimportant
"they cannot scare me with their empty spaces... i have it in me so much nearer home" i think hes talking about like a therepist, they say they want to listen in help but the dont really care, and if he wanted help he has it at home, supposably

| Posted on 2010-05-04 | by a guest


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This is about loneliness, a man trapped in a place of solitude.

| Posted on 2010-02-21 | by a guest


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I have read all the comments and although i agree that looking at a deeper meaning the reference to being lonely etc is agreeable, although i believe that the snow may be a reference to the higher beings in society i.e. government and its suffication on Frost and the 'animals' may be a reference to the lower forms of society. The depression he feels is due to the fact he can't relate, and contextually this is understandable due to the death and insitutionalisation of several of his family members including 4 children. Nature is used to demonstrate his insignificance within the grande scheme of things. Frost uses 'them' as recurrent motif throughout this poem, this may be the society he can't relate to, hence the white and snow being a suffication he sees on people around him due to social pressures.
These are my thoughts.
I will note that comments about peoples views being incorrect are inappropriate, i have found all of these interesting and do not believe that any of them are indeed correct as poetry is open to interpretation, plus the comments on spelling are petty.

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest


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the poem is about the internal isolation that frost faces by not being able to 'express' his thoughts onto paper.

| Posted on 2009-12-29 | by a guest


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its hard to trust some of the analysis' because some of the spelling isn't even correct

| Posted on 2009-12-05 | by a guest


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The poem is merely letting us know that we cant analyse every piece of litterature. Robert Frost just throws this sentences together to mess with us and to get us to try to analyse the poem, when in fact it has no literal meaning. If you look at the poem, does it look like it was written by a man who has won every poetry award known to men? infact this poem looks like it coulve been written by anyone knowng how to rhyme words. Can you really compare this poem to "Bereft" or " Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening"? Robert Frost does this to joke about the people who try to over analyse his poems.

| Posted on 2009-11-18 | by a guest


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Not feeling a sense of belonging within oneself can lead to a loss of personal identity, loneliness and oblivion. In the first stanza a setting is created with the use of the words with negative connotations such as night and snow. Snow is used through the poem to display the lack of identity; it has qualities of a cold and formless white sheet. Through this image produced by the snow removes the individuality and life of the field it covers. Likewise the night has connotations of darkness, the unknown and of obscured vision that reflects the depression and loneliness that the persona is feeling. The concept of falling fast which is repeated suggests descending uncontrollably and unstoppably. Together these three words depict the mood of the persona, of in unescapable dejection as a result of low self esteem and a lack of identity. Later in the poem this idea is emphasised when Frost describes the snow and night as smother[ing]. The depression and lack of identity is also reinforced when Frost parallels himself to the snow saying that it is with no expression, nothing to express, commenting on his absence of individuality and his fall into oblivion due to the persona not feeling a sense of belonging within himself.- Oscar

| Posted on 2009-11-10 | by a guest


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I would like to critique some of the comments that have been posted by previous readers, only in the spirit of discussion and interllectual engagement. In the same spirit, I would be happy to have someone comment on my post as well. And so,
1. Frost uses projection to express his own sense of entrapment and suffocation. Frost observes on the onset that the snow is falling "fast", he repeats it twice. But it is not just the snow but "night" as well. The image of "falling" gives the reader the perception that it is decending at very fast speeds in an unstoppable and uncontrollable fashion. He feels powerless in that aspect, against the decend of the elemets. He does not, however, welcome the snow or night and describes them as "smother[ing]" the "animals". Understand that Frost himself is trapped in his home and it is there that he observes the activities of nature. Frost diction of the word "smothered" indicates at an entraping and suffocating feeling, an image that he projects onto the animals because he himself is experiencing it.

| Posted on 2009-07-23 | by a guest


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What I understand from this poem is that the persona is one who admires nature as Frost does. He has looked into the field with the time moving. His whole life is correlated with time. The grounds almost covered in snow but a few weeds....show last is telling us that the persona feels almost entrapped by his own desert places, by his own loneliness but there is hope for him in the future. Snow is metaphorically used to represent death as it prevents nature from being exposed. It covers the greenness. It is seen as an element of destruction and so useful. Frost uses it to represent man's loneliness and isolation."The woods have it - it is their". "All animals are smothered in their lairs" is saying that the woods have something which belongs to it,the animals are protected in the home- the young by their mothers, (smothered)protected because it is the winter season and in their lairs meaning in their home.The persona states this to emphasise his own loneliness and to not care about the animal so much as to him loneliness is felt by man and worries about this. The animals have nothing to worry about. The loneliness he feels is so much that he feels dead and emotion-less,"too absent-spirited to count" He can't think right now because he is so caught up with his own self, too caught up in his loneliness and isolation,too caught up with his own desert places. The persona then goes by saying that it will get worse. There will be more loneliness. The last stanza is trying to say that he knows that the physical world out there cannot scare him, cannot fool him. What he feels within him(the loneliness)is more worse than the loneliness one feels in the external world. "I have it in me so much nearer home" meaning that he has what it is to scare him right here with him (his own desert places). His own isolation is right within him and is a lot worse than physical isolation in the world out there. The title desert places is appropriate for the lyric poem. A desert is a place of dirt,no water no fruitfulness just emptiness. A place of no life. Frost found it suitable to represent death and isolation and that isolation doesn't have to mean alienated from the world. It doesn't mean one place or a physical place. It can be the place with one's self. It was suitable to represent death because the desert lack trees and water which human need to survive and the persona was lacking something which caused him to be covered in loneliness.

| Posted on 2009-01-30 | by a guest


.: :.

What I understand from this poem is that the persona is one who admires nature as Frost does. He has looked into the field with the time moving. His whole life is correlated with time. The grounds almost covered in snow but a few weeds....show last is telling us that the persona feels almost entrapped by his own desert places, by his own loneliness but there is hope for him in the future. Snow is metaphorically used to represent death as it prevents nature from being exposed. It covers the greenness. It is seen as an element of destruction and so useful. Frost uses it to represent man's loneliness and isolation."The woods have it - it is their". "All animals are smothered in their lairs" is saying that the woods have something which belongs to it,the animals are protected in the home- the young by their mothers, (smothered)protected because it is the winter season and in their lairs meaning in their home.The persona states this to emphasise his own loneliness and to not care about the animal so much as to him loneliness is felt by man and worries about this. The animals have nothing to worry about. The loneliness he feels is so much that he feels dead and emotion-less,"too absent-spirited to count" He can't think right now because he is so caught up with his own self, too caught up in his loneliness and isolation,too caught up with his own desert places. The persona then goes by saying that it will get worse. There will be more loneliness. The last stanza is trying to say that he knows that the physical world out there cannot scare him, cannot fool him. What he feels within him(the loneliness)is more worse than the loneliness one feels in the external world. "I have it in me so much nearer home" meaning that he has what it is to scare him right here with him (his own desert places). His own isolation is right within him and is a lot worse than physical isolation in the world out there. The title desert places is appropriate for the lyric poem. A desert is a place of dirt,no water no fruitfulness just emptiness. A place of no life. Frost found it suitable to represent death and isolation and that isolation doesn't have to mean alienated from the world. It doesn't mean one place or a physical place. It can be the place with one's self. It was suitable to represent death because the desert lack trees and water which human need to survive and the persona was lacking something which caused him to be covered in loneliness.

| Posted on 2009-01-30 | by a guest