R. Frost Essay, Research Paper
From the later 1800’s to the middle 1900’s, Robert Frost gave the world a window to view the world through poetry. He has explored many different aspects of writing. Giving us poems that define hope and happiness to poems of pure morbid characteristics; all of Robert Frost’s poems explain the nature of living. But why does Frost take two totally different views in his poems? Is it because of his basic temperament or could it be that his attitude towards life changed in his later years? Throughout the life of Robert Frost, many different kinds of struggles where manifested in his life that hampered his every thought. Some say that Frost went from a “bright and sunny day” to “a dreary night.” But even with all of the animosities that plagued his life, Robert Frost evolved to become one of America’s greatest poets. Frost’s poems were not respected in the United States at the time that he first began writing. But after a brief stay in England, Frost emerged as one of the most extraordinary writers in his time.
Robert Frost’s poetry is loosely based on natural images and settings. His poems are mostly written of people taking some type of walk of journey through nature. Frost comes from a New England background and some of his poems reflect the beautiful scenery that is present in that part of the county. Nature can be used very well to describe human feelings and actions. From the new born life of Spring, through the dying season of Winter. Frost’s ability to use nature to describe his poems cannot be duplicated by any other poet. It is intriguing how he can have two poems with the same setting and have totally opposite feelings that the reader encounters. He uses nature very well in order to tell the reader the tone and imagery of his poems. One thing that Frosts does that interests me is the way some of his poems personify different feelings. His poems can entice the reader’s mind to realize that Frost’s work can represent differences in a person’s state of mind. Some other poets like to stick to one feeling and write only on it, but Frost’s poems range from misery to complete happiness, all depending on the speaker’s state of mind. “Desert Places” and “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” are good poems to compare. Both of these poems have the same wintry forest setting but have completely different tones and feelings.
“Desert Places” has a person traveling through the countryside on a beautiful winter evening. A complete feeling of loneliness surrounds the speaker. “A blanker whiteness of benighted snow/with no expression, nothing to express”. The whiteness symbolizes open and empty spaces. In this person’s eyes, the snow is a white blanket that covers up everything living. The blankness represents the speaker’s feeling of loneliness and emptiness. He feels as if he does not belong or fit in anywhere in society. All the wintry deadness surrounds him, just as his lonely thoughts surround his mind. I believe the speaker is somewhat jealous of the woods. “ The woods around it have it, it is theirs”. The woods symbolize society, whereas everything in the woods is together and the speaker is the outcast not feeling he belongs in the woods. Later in the poem, the speaker starts to realize that the wintry place has become his life. He has let depression and loneliness take over his entire life, like the snow covering all living things. In the speaker’s mind the snow has also covered him and his life. This poem symbolizes the misery of loneliness.
On the other hand “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy evening” has a different tone. The setting remains the same as “Desert Places” which is a cold wintry night in the woods. However, in this poem the tone is one of beauty and appreciation of life. This poem is about taking time out to enjoy life and its surroundings “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep”. This describes the joy and beauty of nature. Many aspects of this poem say the same thing as in “Desert Places”, but with different meanings. The woods still represent society, but instead of the speaker being a lonely outcast, he wants to be part of the beautiful wintry setting. He wants to stay in the forest so he can soak up all the good feelings it is giving him. He even feels awkward and guilty for thinking something was so beautiful. “My horse must think it queer/To stop without a farmhouse near”. The horse represents society, and the speaker doesn’t want society to think he is weird for stopping for no reason. The speaker finds the woods to be some kind of replenishment for his mind. It serves as an escape from the stress of everyday life.
“Desert Places” is the opposite of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. The settings are exactly the same; calm, dark wintry evenings, but they express totally different feelings. “Desert Placers” is a very depressing poem with a dark tone. The other is very happy and it makes you wish that winter was already here. These two poems are very different but they are also the same in some ways. They show two extremes of the same emotion. Being alone can be positive or negative, it just depends on the person’s state of mind. Loneliness can be very depressing or it can be a time to collect your thoughts without the pressures of the outside world. Winter can make everything seem dead. It can be a very depressing time of year. Snow covers everything living and the cold seems to chill the very soul at times. Winter can also be very uplifting. It can wipe the slate clean with its pureness and it can be a time of starting over.
These two poems show Frost’s remarkable talent of being able to persuade the reader’s thoughts and images by using certain words and language. The way Frosts takes the same setting and makes completely opposite tones is very fascinating. The importance of these poems is to realize that no matter where someone is physically, how you feel all depends on your state of mind. To me being in a wintry forest would have my mind at ease, while someone else may feel lonely and afraid. I believe these were good poems to compare because everyone can relate to being somewhere beautiful and feeling miserable or being somewhere miserable and