'Desert Places' by Robert Frost

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

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.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Desert Places by Robert Frost: A Masterpiece of Modernist Poetry

When it comes to American poetry of the early 20th century, few names stand out quite like that of Robert Frost. The four-time Pulitzer Prize winner is celebrated not only for his brilliant use of language and imagery, but also for his deep insights into the human condition and the natural world. One of his most notable poems is "Desert Places," which was published in 1936 as part of his collection "A Further Range." This haunting and introspective work has fascinated readers and critics alike for decades, and continues to inspire new interpretations and analyses. In this article, we will explore the many facets of "Desert Places" and offer our own interpretation of this timeless masterpiece.

A Closer Look at the Poem

Before diving into our analysis, let's take a moment to appreciate the poem's structure and form. "Desert Places" is a sonnet, which means it follows a strict rhyme scheme and metrical pattern. Specifically, it is written in iambic pentameter, meaning each line contains ten syllables with a stress on every second syllable. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, which means that the poem is divided into three quatrains (four-line stanzas) followed by a concluding couplet (two-line stanza). This formal structure adds to the poem's sense of balance and symmetry, while also providing a sense of closure at the end.

Now, let's take a closer look at the poem's content. "Desert Places" begins with a description of a wintry landscape, with "snow" covering the ground and "weeds" and "scattered houses" visible in the distance. The speaker then reflects on his own feelings of loneliness and isolation, wondering if the snow and emptiness of the landscape reflect his own emotional state. He imagines that the snow "has no voice" and that the "lonely wind" is his only companion. In the second quatrain, the speaker goes further into his own psyche, describing the "blanker whiteness" of his own mind and the sense of "nothing" that seems to pervade his thoughts. He wonders if this is what death feels like, and imagines his own "absence" from the world. The third quatrain takes a more philosophical turn, as the speaker muses on the nature of the universe and the human experience. He imagines the stars looking down on him with "cold disdain" and wonders if they too are lonely and empty. He concludes by stating that "they would declare / And tell me if they knew, / How being here and going hence, / These two aspects are one and the same." In the final couplet, the speaker returns to his own personal experience, stating that he is "too absent-spirited to count" and that the snow will soon "cover [him] up, / And all his [his] paths be dumb."

Themes and Motifs

As with most great works of literature, "Desert Places" is rich in themes and motifs that add depth and complexity to the poem. One of the most prominent themes is that of isolation and loneliness. The wintry landscape serves as a metaphor for the speaker's emotional state, as he feels cut off from the world around him and unable to connect with others. The image of the snow "smothering" everything in its path adds to this sense of suffocation and claustrophobia. The speaker's repeated use of the word "nothing" reinforces this theme, as he feels that his thoughts and feelings are empty and devoid of meaning.

Another theme that emerges from the poem is that of mortality and the fear of death. The speaker imagines that the snow and emptiness around him represents death itself, and wonders if this is what he will experience when he dies. He also considers the possibility that death is simply a form of absence, a state of non-being that is the same as never having existed at all. This existential dread is a hallmark of modernist literature, and is a common theme in Frost's work.

Throughout the poem, Frost employs a number of motifs that reinforce these themes and add depth to the poem. For example, the image of the "lonely wind" serves as a metaphor for the speaker's emotional state, while the stars and the universe at large represent the larger forces that govern human life. The use of snow and whiteness also serves as a motif, representing both the physical landscape and the speaker's own emotional state. By using these recurring images and ideas, Frost creates a cohesive and nuanced work that rewards close reading and interpretation.

Interpretation and Analysis

So what does "Desert Places" mean, exactly? As with any great work of literature, there are multiple ways to approach the poem and interpret its meaning. Here are a few possible readings:


"Desert Places" is a masterful work of modernist poetry that continues to captivate readers and critics over 80 years after its publication. Its themes of isolation, mortality, and the power of nature and the universe are timeless and universal, and Frost's use of language and imagery is both haunting and beautiful. Whether read as a meditation on the human condition, a reflection on mortality, or a reminder of the vastness of the universe, "Desert Places" is a powerful and unforgettable work of art.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Desert Places: A Masterpiece of Robert Frost

Robert Frost, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, is known for his profound and thought-provoking poems that explore the complexities of human nature and the mysteries of the natural world. Among his many works, "Desert Places" stands out as a masterpiece that captures the essence of human loneliness and the emptiness of modern life. In this 2000-word analysis, we will delve into the themes, symbols, and literary devices used in this poem to understand its deeper meaning and significance.

The poem "Desert Places" was first published in 1936, and it is one of Frost's most famous and widely anthologized works. It is a short, four-stanza poem that explores the theme of loneliness and isolation in a stark and haunting manner. The poem begins with the speaker describing a snowy landscape that is both beautiful and desolate. He notes that the snow has covered everything, including the fields, the hills, and the trees, and that the only sound he can hear is the wind blowing through the empty spaces.

The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it establishes the sense of emptiness and isolation that pervades the speaker's world. The snow, which is usually associated with purity and innocence, is here used to convey a sense of emptiness and desolation. The fact that it has covered everything suggests that there is nothing left to see or experience, and that the speaker is alone in a world that has been stripped of all its beauty and vitality.

In the second stanza, the speaker reflects on his own sense of loneliness and isolation. He notes that he too is like the snow-covered landscape, empty and devoid of life. He says that he has no one to talk to, and that even the animals have fled from him. The use of the word "ghost" to describe the speaker's presence suggests that he feels like a mere shadow of himself, a hollow shell that has lost its essence.

The third stanza introduces a new element into the poem, as the speaker reflects on the idea of death. He notes that the snow-covered landscape reminds him of a graveyard, and that the only thing that is missing is the tombstones. He says that he feels like he is already dead, and that the snow is a symbol of his own mortality. The use of the word "obliterate" to describe the snow's effect on the landscape suggests that the speaker feels like he is being erased from existence, that he is slowly disappearing into the void.

The final stanza brings the poem to a close, as the speaker reflects on the possibility of finding some kind of solace or comfort in his loneliness. He notes that even though he is alone, he is not completely alone, as there are still stars in the sky that shine down on him. He says that he feels like he is a part of the universe, and that his loneliness is just a small part of a larger cosmic order. The use of the word "desert" to describe the speaker's inner landscape suggests that he has come to accept his loneliness as a natural part of the human condition, and that he is at peace with his own mortality.

One of the most striking features of "Desert Places" is its use of imagery and symbolism to convey its themes. The snow-covered landscape is a powerful symbol of emptiness and isolation, as it suggests that the world has been stripped of all its vitality and beauty. The use of the word "ghost" to describe the speaker's presence reinforces this sense of emptiness, as it suggests that he feels like a mere shadow of himself, a hollow shell that has lost its essence.

The idea of death is also a prominent theme in the poem, as the snow is used to symbolize the speaker's own mortality. The fact that the snow is slowly erasing everything in its path suggests that the speaker feels like he is being erased from existence, that he is slowly disappearing into the void. This sense of mortality is reinforced by the speaker's reflection on the idea of death in the third stanza, where he notes that the snow-covered landscape reminds him of a graveyard.

Another important literary device used in the poem is the use of repetition. The phrase "snow falling and night falling fast" is repeated twice in the first stanza, and this repetition serves to reinforce the sense of emptiness and isolation that pervades the speaker's world. The repetition of the word "desert" in the final stanza also serves to reinforce the idea that the speaker has come to accept his loneliness as a natural part of the human condition.

In conclusion, "Desert Places" is a powerful and haunting poem that explores the themes of loneliness, isolation, and mortality in a stark and uncompromising manner. Through its use of imagery, symbolism, and repetition, the poem conveys a sense of emptiness and desolation that is both beautiful and terrifying. It is a masterpiece of modern poetry that continues to resonate with readers today, and it is a testament to Robert Frost's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the complexities of the human experience.

Editor Recommended Sites

Quick Home Cooking Recipes: Ideas for home cooking with easy inexpensive ingredients and few steps
Startup News: Valuation and acquisitions of the most popular startups
No IAP Apps: Apple and Google Play Apps that are high rated and have no IAP
Multi Cloud Tips: Tips on multicloud deployment from the experts
Learn Devops: Devops philosphy and framework implementation. Devops organization best practice

Recommended Similar Analysis

My Life had stood-a Loaded Gun by Emily Dickinson analysis
The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life by Anthony Hecht analysis
Bright Star by John Keats analysis
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, The by William Blake analysis
Vanishing Red, The by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Misgiving by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Pheasant by Sylvia Plath analysis
Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden analysis
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost analysis
Mellonta Tauta by Edgar Allen Poe analysis