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Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Lee Frost Type: Poetry Views: 2978

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Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it's queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there's some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

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.


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

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We don't really know what is in the horses mind; we only see what the man sees in the horse. He sees the horse as he sees himself: a thing bound to a life of drudgery and work. The horse is beneath the man in the same way he sees himself as being beneath the landowner in the village--the landowner that worries the man--the landowner that he sees as an authority over him.
"...but I have promises to keep".
This is the man's harness. The harness seems to be debt, but it probably doesn't matter exactly what it is. He sees that the promises he's made as keeping him from being where he wants to be, and, as with the "miles to go before I sleep", he remembers that there is still a long life of drudgery ahead, and that he will only ever escape when he reaches the end of his life.

| Posted on 2017-02-21 | by a guest

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Between the woods and frozen lake- seems to me a place calling for comfort but also he can see the inability to accomplish what he needs to, if he is frozen dead. Also he is away from society and it might be the demands of society that he would like to take a rest from, at any price.

| Posted on 2013-08-12 | by a guest

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It was Christmas time. Robert took his horse and wagon into town to try to sell some produce in order to buy gifts for his family. None of his produce sold. During the drive home, Robert was overcome with shame and pulled over to have a good cry. His horse became restless and moved, maybe bobbed its head. As a result, the bells on the harness jingled. Robert pulled himself together and continued his drive home. Later, he wrote this poem about that moment.

| Posted on 2012-03-07 | by a guest

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The poem is mainly abot this guy and his life on how he will live longer before he dies and the woods and the frozen lake are his borderlines

| Posted on 2012-01-20 | by a guest

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I think this is a poem about a kid named Alex M with the best smile who gets wrecked at basketball

| Posted on 2012-01-10 | by a guest

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I think it is a contemplation of suicide.
The subject is near woods, unseen, far away from contact (the village). Isolated and beyond anyones intervention. Free and in control of events. It is cold and clearly winter.
He is with a horse. The horse does not understand why they have stopped. The horse never normaly stops without a farmhouse near. Again we are reminded that it is cold and freezing. The darkest evening of the year.
The horse now starts to question its master. What are we doing here? The horse doesnt understand the dark but peaceful contemplation of its master. The horse may represent people who cant understand the suicidal state of mind. It may be now that the \'darkest evening of the year\' may refer to the state of mind that the subject is in.
The woods seem peaceful calm and inviting. The use of the word \'but\' in But I have promises to keep. Suggests a question is being asked. The question the woods ask is come in and find peace in death. \'But\' in this case is the answer that the subject has decided not to die. \'Sleep\' clearly refers to death. The fact that the line is repeated enphasises its meaning. Obligation and responsibility means that the subject cant accept the inviting peace the freezing woods offer. Miles to go means many things to do before I die. The Horse represents people who dont understand the appeal of death.
Maybe ?

| Posted on 2011-06-17 | by a guest

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i think that by saying whose woods i think i know might mjean he thought he knew his way but got lost. when he says gives the harness bells a shake that means there is a carriage attatched to the harness. when he says to ask if theres some mistake, he may have been a villager on a hores with a carraige taking a load of whatever farm products or something he has to deliver. he may have been given wrong ditections and he has a long way to go before he can go home after a long day of work and sleep.

| Posted on 2011-03-02 | by a guest

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Frost\'s reflections of nature are different to other romantic poets. Similar to his poems \"Design\" and \"Desert Places\", Frost seems to be talking about how nature is not perfect as poets like \'Wordsworth\' and \'Coleridge\' seem to say. Frost often portrays nature in an ominous light.
The woods are enticing him. Drawing him in as though under a hypnotic spell.
The idea behind the darkest evening of the year is that, there are more suicide reports on this day than on any other. It seems Frost is critical of nature.
Even the horse recognises the danger. It is social responibility which saves him, \"promises to keep\". In the last two lines. The first appears to be quite literal. The second is saying that it is not yet his time to die(Possibly more social obligation). It could be seen that nature was trying to coax him into a premature death.
It is unlikely that early in the poem Frost is refering to the grim-reaper, when in his poem \'Design\' he seemms to reject the idea of a God at all.

| Posted on 2011-02-23 | by a guest

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my take on the poem
lines 1 and 2: Grim reaper is far away
lines 3 and 4: snow isn\'t always beautiful and maybe the man is close to death
lines 5-6: the horse may be a metaphor for his family and it says how they are upset
lines 7-8:when there is trouble you sometimes hear the phrase \"your not out of the woods yet\" also darkest day may not be referring to the solstice. Darness is sometimes a metaphor for fear and the unknown
lines 9-10: family may be in som kind of denial
lines 11-12: Like the calm that also follows after a storm he is recovering
lines 13-14: he is not ready to meet death, he has more to do in life
lines 15-16: His life is not over and he is saying that he has much more to do before he is ready to meet death

| Posted on 2011-02-03 | by a guest

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when reading it i always picture the grim reaper comes to visit him, then mentioning \"i have promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep\" is his reason to continue on. and also the line \"he gives his harness bells a shake, to ask if there is some mistake\" i picture thats the Angel of Death talking to him (aka the reaper) in a different form \"do i have the right guy?\"

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest

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The narrator in the poem is unkown. It takes place on the winter soltist (longest day of the year). My interpertation is that the man is working and has stopped to look at the view of the woods. But, he has to keep working inorder for him to sleep. In a way, this is everyones life. We all have a day where we have so much to do, and so many miles more to go, before we can rest.

| Posted on 2011-01-18 | by a guest

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i think that this poem was ment to be in winter... because of the snow. i think that he is going through the woods and stops to watch the scenery. and when he says the darkest evening of the year, i think he ment that it is the solstice. the turning of winter when the day is the shortest of the year. in the last stanza it seems like he wanted to stay but had to get home, or something along those lines, and when he repeated it it seemed like he was more so refering it to life how sometimes you want to stay in the good times but you cant always hold on to somethign that isng there, and you have to keep going with your life.

| Posted on 2010-12-21 | by a guest

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It is very simple. Frost, grieving the loss of his father at this time (the darkest night of the year), finds himself in a dark place. His sorrow is expressed in being between the woods, (classic literature for death), lovely dark and deep (an easy way out of his grief), and the frozen lake (water being life, yet frozen due to his thoughts of not being able to carry on). He is contemplating suicide. His horse sensing this is not reasonable or right shakes his harness bells (awakening Frost) to realize he has promises to keep (commitments to family and friends) and miles to go before I sleep (much to do before he dies).

| Posted on 2010-12-14 | by a guest

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Robert Lee Frost has lost his grandfather when he wrote this poem. In the first stanza, he says he knows the person to whom these woods belong. He confirms that this person is a man, and there is certainty that this person will not be here to see his woods fill up with snow. These two lines confirm that the person has passed away and Robert is bereaved.
The second stanza contrasts Robert\'s inner sadness with horse\'s lack of awareness of Robert\'s emotional state. Because he feels immense loss from the death of his grandfather, he writes in the second stanza that this is the darkest evening of the year for him.
By giving his harness bells a shake, the horse keeps bringing Robert back to the little details of the reality, while Robert is lost in his deep dark world of emotions.
In the last stanza, Robert describes the snowy evening as lovely , but at the same time, there is a deep, dark sadness. There must be some matters requiring Robert\'s urgent attention and forcing him to leave his place of quiet mourning.

| Posted on 2010-12-07 | by a guest

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Make sure you never assume the speaker of the poem is also the author. Frost may not be referring to himself. I believe that the wish of death can be seen throughout the poem, EVEN IF Frost himself did not intend for it to show such a dark side. It presents the ideology of infinite survival, in the way that the poem presents a certain significance to the subject\'s existence (\"promises to keep\").

| Posted on 2010-12-01 | by a guest

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I think it speaks of inferdelity!!! The man is cheating with his lover who belongs to someone else who he think he knows. this is there last time thought, there last chance. the horse is unfamiliar with the place. I think It is not nature but the woman he describes. Last time because of his responsibility to his wife, children. Can anyone else see it this way????

| Posted on 2010-11-21 | by a guest

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robert frost is talking about suicide he lost both his wife and daughter withing a close period of time. and honestly i don\'t blame him i don\'t think i would be able to handle it either. and where it says \" i have promices to keep and miles to go before i sleep\" the only child that he had was his son and he had to take care of his son

| Posted on 2010-11-09 | by a guest

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I think this poem is the greatest poem ever because it has many meanings and interpretations. The poet left us confusing about what he meant by his words. Everyone try to figure out what exactlly the poet had been thinking about while he was writing this poem. My own perspective is that the poet was contemplating in the strange nature....
sleet maged sleet

| Posted on 2010-11-07 | by a guest

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please give me the critical analysis of the poem William Cowper\'s The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk. I tried on the web no critical analysis is available on this powm

| Posted on 2010-10-17 | by a guest

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The theme of the poem \"stopping by the woods on a snowy evening\" is that most people wouldn\'t want to watch nature they hav more important things to do..
sad dayy:)

| Posted on 2010-10-12 | by a guest

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He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there\'s some mistake.
The only other sound\'s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake
Can you please explain this stanza.
thank you:)

| Posted on 2010-09-27 | by a guest

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This poem is about finding a balance between the need for us to be connected to our selves and nature, and the need for us to be connected with society in order to function.
He Stops to admire the and marvell at the wonder of nature - \'The woods are lovely dark and deep\'.
But his obligation to society stops him from spending more time there - \'But I have promises to keep.\'
And he is saddend by the realisation that he is part of a system in which he is forced to conform and keep promises; this is shown in the repitition of the line \'And miles to go before I sleep\'.
The childlike language and structure conveys a sense that the protagonist is connected with his inner child.
The horses is both a symbol for the greatness of man and the mistake of man; which reinforces the idea that there needs to be balance. This complexity about the horse motif is expressed in the lines:
-\'My little horse must think it queer to stop without a farm house near.\' This shows the error of man in that the horse, a product of nature it\'s self, is domesticated to the point where it cannot connect with nature.
-\'He gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there is some mistake.\' The clear connection that the horse and the protagonist celebrates the ability of man to be able to connect with nature.
This is why the horse can communicate two opposing things, to reinforce the need to have a balance between being connected with nature and connected with society.

| Posted on 2010-08-16 | by a guest

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The dark woods could represent sin and temptation, and by going into these woods, the speaker would be giving in to misdeed. The horse stands for the speaker's moral compass or conscience, and it shaking its harness bells signifies the hesitation or sense of "straying from the path" that we feel when contemplating whether to indulge in something illicit. Furthermore, the promises could represent moral obligations made to one's God, loved ones, self, etc., with sleep representing death or judgement day

| Posted on 2010-07-14 | by a guest

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this poems tell about the journey of a person
and the snowy evening symbolizes struggles

| Posted on 2010-07-09 | by a guest

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Some people believe Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is about a person stopping to enjoy nature. However, I do not believe this is the case. We are told that it is, "The darkest evening of the year." This might mean that it is the winter solstice or it is literally the darkest night so far this year. In the title of the poem, Frost tells us that it is a snowy evening. We are also told that it is windy and that the snow is deep in the woods. Next, Frost describes a frozen lake. Therefore, I do not believe this person has stopped to enjoy the view of the woods on a windy, snowy, cold, and dark evening. I believe Frost's poem is about a person stopping to answer the call of nature (crap). The person is clearly in a hurry to arrive at his next destination because he has made some unknown promise that must be kept and apparently, the person has not slept in a while. I believe there is no other logical reason for this person to have stopped. My belief is further supported by Frost's description of the person being familiar enough with the area that the person thinks he or she knows who the owner of the woods is. The horse is confused by the sudden stop far from any farmhouse. The person perceives the woods as a place of privacy to take relief because the woods are "lovely, dark and deep". The person is afraid to leave the horse because it might leave on its own. The horse has a harness that leads me to believe that it is pulling a wagon. The person cannot take the horse over to the woods because the wagon might become stuck in the deep snow. In conclusion, I believe that the person is nearing home but is too far away and can no longer wait to crap. The person is hoping, "He will not see me stopping here".
By: Michael Varner

| Posted on 2010-06-09 | by a guest

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In reading analytical comments on this poem on a number or websites the majority of people seem to think the poem is about death. I certainly encourage people to relate their own emotions to whatever art they are viewing, but keep in mind that only the author can state with authority the definitive meaning of a work, observers can only offer their interpretations as one possibility. In the case of "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" Frost himself has said more than once that the poem is not about death. Quoting from Robert C. Evans's (Auburn University) Literary Contexts in Poetry "Frost himself admired this poem, once remarking that the work contained "all [he] ever knew," yet he often expressed annoyance with the elaborate interpretations the work provoked (see Greenburg and Hepburn 12). He particularly rejected claims that the poem implied any kind of "death-wish" (Henry 69), and when "a friendly critic asked if the last two lines in 'Stopping by Woods' referred to going to Heaven, and, by implication, death, the poet replied, 'No, all that means is to get the hell out of there'" (see Greenburg and Hepburn 13). According to David Hamilton (relating a story reported by N. Arthur Bleau): "'Stopping by Woods' was [Frost's] favorite poem because it arose from a particularly bleak Christmas and the 'darkest evening of the year' just before it. Having no money, Frost loaded a wagon with farm produce and went to town, but he found no buyers and returned empty-handed, without even small gifts for the children. He felt he had failed his family, and rounding a bend in the road, by woods, and quite near his house, the horse, who seemed to understand his mood, and who had already been given the reins, slowed and stopped, letting Frost have a good cry. 'I just sat there and bawled like a baby,' Bleau reports Frost as having said." (127)"

| Posted on 2010-05-01 | by a guest

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now that i think about it it does make sense that it is about death because he says "the darkest evening of the year" and "the woods are lovely, dark, and deep" the woods comment to me means that he is tempted to go into the woods like you would be tempted to take your life maybe or it could be how some people cant wait to die so in his mind it is portrayed as being something good

| Posted on 2010-04-26 | by a guest

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This is truly one of the greatest poems in American History simply due to the fact that it's never been fully interpreted. Nobody knows exactly what it means, it means something different to every person that reads it. It lulls readers into in depth contemplations of life with its words. Even if your mind leaves the poem itself and begins to wander through other situations in your own life, it's done its job.

| Posted on 2010-04-20 | by a guest

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I believe this is truly a great poem. Because of the way it is written it allow the reader to interpret the poem to have meaning in his own life and to wonder if Frost had the same feelings in his. You can say it is a simple poem, if that's where you are in life, or that is is complex and filled with doubt and thoughts of regret...I think it speaks to us and that, simply, is what makes it great.

| Posted on 2010-04-14 | by a guest

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its about relegion!!
man on a journey through his mind for the right religion
stops in front a religion(woods)
The religious man that presented this religion to him does not know he is thinking and finding the x him why are u stopping infront a different religion when u already have one??
woods and frozen lake(2 religions)
The darkest evening of the year(day he need to pick the religion)
Other sounds( peace)
Woods are lovely dark and deep( likes new religion)
has promises to keep about his own religion.
has lots of time to pick the right religion( and miles to go before i sleep)
hope this helps!!

| Posted on 2010-04-09 | by a guest

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The personna of the poem stops in the wood when he travels with his horse. And he looks at the frozen lake and woods. It is evening so we feel darkness and it may remind the reader 'suicide'. But he gives up the suicide because he remembers he has many to do before dying. Sleep is a metaphor for dying in the poem.

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest

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First of all the idea of sucide can not be fully proved this thery can be shown by examining different items of poetry and wat not to try and prove this
in the first line "whose woods these are i think i know." robert frost is using woods as a metaphor for him self because were ever robert frost was he was never far from "the woods" he even tryed 2 commet sucide so braking down the line it says, i thought i know myself a understood myself. to add in something extra a reader can decode a authors life thought his/her writing we can not base everything on this poem with out knowing frost's life. another way to prove my thery of woods meaning himself u can look at the last line of "leaves compared with roses" it say "leafs are all my darkest moods". to understand this from my point of view wat ever u belive in view robert frost as a tree 4 a mintue leafs are connceted to tree we all know that so wat besides moods can leafs mean, my idea (sorry this essay or comment was not made in mia format)is leaves represent his childern. take a second to ask ur self this wat are all the main colors (red, green, yellow, blue, brown , and black) then look at all his childern (lesley, elliot, carol, irma, marjorie, and elinor bettina) finally loook at all the main emtions (anger, happiness, love, fear, joy, and sadness). i find it werid their is six of all of these thought that we can connect them red = anger= one of his kids and u can do the rest with that expample expect for green and yellow lesley, irma, and happyness and joy. most of u by know will think joy and happyness is the same think well it is we can use happyness and joy as smybols for lesley and irma which both suffer from metal illness see the connection? and the colors yellow can reprents joyfulness and green can repersent happyness because if u were a tree wouldnt u be sad to see ur leafs fallen off and when u do have them at ur best and ur happy u feel happy. poets thoughout history have use seasons to repersent stags in there lifes spring as in child hood of a child like feeling as in happyness summer as in middle age u perpare for ur leaves 2 fall in fall, fall ur leaves change from this happy color to dark colors such as red(anger) brown(still loving) and when they fall and get step on black. winter is old age when all ur leaves are gone u fell the irony of watching all ur leafs being trampled frost had the same idea because of this line from the road not taken "In leaves no step had trodden black." this poem takes place in fall were u watch ur leafs fall snowy wood takes place in winter becuz it say the darkest evening of the year which is october 21 look that up i have failed 2 get fully into my explintion be4 feburay is done i will finsih this with another post.hi illz its kiki

| Posted on 2010-01-31 | by a guest

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yehey akala ko mali ung pag aanalyze ko tama pla...thank u sa mga x

| Posted on 2009-12-14 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2009-12-09 | by a guest

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The poem is very deep. The woods and the village exampels of heaven and hell also to this note Between the woods and the frozen lake the darkesnt evening of the year symbolizes death or morbid thoughts. And at the end the poem shows sleep as death and how he decides he will live longer and go on the horse also acts kind of like a main person in his life. Like someone that needs him to be loved and taken care of. The mistake he talks about i think would be him thinking of dieing he rethinks the ways of life and keeps going on with god, and keeps beliving in him. the snow was a very important aspect in his life he would always write things about snow anytime he could. Also his son killed himself when he was young and also he was very sick at with phnomenia how ever thats spelled

| Posted on 2009-11-30 | by a guest

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this poem we did in school 2day . its so deep and my teacher goes into it so much that you would think that she has to right another poem of this sort !!!

| Posted on 2009-11-28 | by a guest

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It is so funny to see people saying, "its about nature, and Frost is remembering the moment" HA! Do you know what a metaphor is?
In its simplest break down the poem is about death, then you can even dig deeper to come to see it is in fact about suicide. If you do the research you will learn that Frost's first child had succumbed to an illness and passed away. Thus giving meaning behind the line "the darkest evening of the year". The second most obvious line that gives justification to my thesis is "I have miles to go before i sleep", sleep meaning death. I can go even further in saying that the Horse is his conscience trying to pull him away from the enticing deep woods "he gives his harness bells a shake". The line "the woods are lovely dark and deep" shows that the narrator is not in a normal state of mind. He wants to traverse through them in the dead of winter, an action that would inevitably lead to his death. Then the narrator comes to the realization that he has "miles to go before" he "sleep(s)"... ugg I'm sorry you know what, this poem is what ever you want to be. I am not the author so i cant tell you what its really about. Truthfully i just got really unmotivated writing an analysis with nothing to gain. have a good day! =)

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

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This is a beautiful poem about a moment spent in a natural setting that attracted the poet. For the first part of that moment, he saw nothing but the beauty of nature. It captivated him, and he became one with it. But not far from the surface of this appreciation, he was aware of the demands and distractions of life. This surfaces in his mind as an awareness that he is on someone's land, but then reassures himself that that person is not present to see him stopping here, and so there is no reason for him to worry what that person might think if he were seen here. But even his horse was aware of these things - or so it seemed. Probably, the horse shook its head the way horses do, for no reason at all. But to Frost, it brought to mind the impatience that is always expressed toward someone who is not actively doing something with a purpose to it. Then he is drawn back to the scene, knowing that the horse cannot really be impatient with him, and he has another moment of freedom to appreciate. Finally, he realizes that this moment is not something he can capture, or hold or own. It is only a moment. There is nothing he can do with it except appreciate it. He realizes that this moment may be something he will one day appreciate in another dimension, such as death - not a foreboding death, simply another state of existence that may have room for a moment such as this. 'The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,' No, not now. Now he must return to the pattern of his life. Maybe this experience awaits him when he sleeps, either metaphorically in death, or when this day's tiring journey is over.

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

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Frost uses the DDDD rhyme scheme much the same way that Shakespeare used rhyming couplets: to point out to the reader that those lines are very important. Frost's departure from the rhyme scheme in the last stanza is to highlight the importance of the line "And miles to go before I sleep". What's more, the line is repeated. He makes it pretty obvious that those two lines are loaded with meaning.
Yes, the poem is about the beauty of nature, but there is undeniably a second layer of meaning. There are many hints in the vocabulary of the poem, notably the sneaky use of the word "downy" as explained by some nice person above. Consider also the use of the word "darkest" instead of "longest evening of the year". Most people assume this poem takes place on December 21st - literally the longest evening of the year - and in the "beauty of nature" context of this poem, that assumption is sound. But looking deeper, "the darkest evening of the year" has many heavy connotations, from the stifling load of everyday life to, possibly, the unbearable task of continuing with life.
I love the comment from the person who met the Frost historian - it is a beautiful insight into the poet's life. I do believe that he wrote this poem remembering that scene, but I think it is extremely important consider what was happening in his life when he first came across the snowy wood: an failed attempt to provide Christmas gifts for his children; Truly a frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming moment. I have a hard time believing that Frost would have written the poem strictly about the scene he came across without including what it represented to him in that moment. He was moved to tears by the beauty of the wood. He saw snow, yes, but he also saw stillness, respite from his life's burdens. But he knew he must carry on - for his family, for his friends, for himself. Which is exactly the meaning of the poem. True, it is literally about stopping by the woods, but not just your routine rest stop. Context, people, context!

| Posted on 2009-10-22 | by a guest

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This is a paper I am writing for English class. It hasn't been critiqued, and I was wondering what you think. This isn't the final copy, and I still have to add a concluding paragraph and fill out my body paragraphs (and probably redo my intro). If someone reads this by Sunday afternoon, that would be great. If not, at least tell me what you think. I will also post my final copy when it's finished.
The Use of Literary Devices in Robert Frost's “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
In Robert Frost's poem. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” the speaker uses literary devices to show the reader the poem's meaning. Symbolism plays an important role in this poem. Robert Frost uses symbolism to show the correlation between the woods and village with heaven. Mythological symbolism is also found in this poem. when the speaker talks about the lake. it is a reference to Hel in Norse Mythology. The tone of the poem, and Robert Frost's syntax. portray a tranquil yet dark feeling throughout the poem. The observations made exhibit how the speaker views life and death. The personification of the horse shows how the horse is important to the poem. In Robert Frost's “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” he portrays the barrier between Heaven and Hel. and how one should cherish one's life.
In the first stanza of the poem. the speaker identifies where he is and who owns the land. The woods are owned by a man who lives “in the village” (2). The man the speaker is referring to is God. who owns all the land on earth. because he created it. The speaker then adds that God “will not see me [the speaker] stopping here.” showing that the man feels unnoticed by God. As the speaker “watch [es] his woods fill up with snow.'' (4) time passes by relating to the speaker's life passing. The woods represent the Gates of Heaven. and the speaker is outside of Heaven. watching as life continues without him.
The second stanza of the poem introduces the horse and further develops the location of the events occurring. The horse represents the speakers conscience. following the speaker throughout his life. and hinting at what paths of life the speaker should follow. When the speaker mentions that his “horse must think it queer. to stop without a farm house near.” (5-6) the speaker insinuates that he is contemplating suicide. and his conscience does not think that this thought is normal. The farm house represents a point in life, something the speaker is not trying to reach. Robert Frost writes the poem using iambic tetrameter. which follows the beat of a horse. The rhythm of the poem further alludes that the horse is a part of the speaker. Death is further mentioned in the poem when the speaker says. “In between the woods and frozen lake”(7) . In Norse Mythology. the underworld is called Hel. and is located in the frozen region of Niflheim. Robert Frost puts Hel and Heaven near each other to show how close the boundaries between the two are. The “darkest evening of the year” (8) shows how deep the speaker's depression is. This depression bolsters the speaker's suicidal thoughts. These thoughts connect to the thin line between Heaven and Hel.
In the third stanza of the poem, the horse, the speaker's conscience, realizes the speaker's intention, and interrupts the the tranquil surroundings. When the horse gives it's harness bells a shake (9), it is trying to gain the speaker's attention. The speaker believes that the horse is trying to make the man realize how bad an idea suicide would be, as that would cause him to go to Hel (10). The speaker acknowledges the horses intent, and realizes the foolishness of suicide. Sensory imagery is used to show how easy suicide would be. The “easy wind and downy flake” (12) show the speaker the path to suicide is relaxing and serene. This stanza displays the slim boundary between Heaven and Hel.
The fourth stanza, the speaker decides to continue life as he remembers promises from his past. When Robert Frost uses the words “lovely, dark, and deep” (13) to describe the woods, he portrays death as a mysterious but beautiful thing. The promises that the speaker must keep are promises that he made throughout life and have not yet completed. These promises could be his promise to God to keep life holy, and, in breaking that promise, he would go to Hel. The repetition of the last two lines of the poem signify the importance of the lines. When the speaker says that he has “miles to go before I [the speaker] sleep,” (15-16) he refers to how many years he has yet to live. This final decision shows that the speaker has given up on suicide, and instead chooses to walk with God and live out his life to the end.

| Posted on 2009-10-09 | by a guest

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