Robert Frost 2 Poem Comparison Essay, Research Paper
Robert Frost successfully taken reader’s imagination on a journey through the wintertime with his poems “Desert Places” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Frost’s New England background in these two poems reflect the beautiful scenery that is present in our part of the country. Even though these poems both have winter settings they contain completely different tones. One poem has a feeling of a depressing loneliness, and the other of feeling welcome. The poems show how the same setting can have totally different impacts on an individual depending on their mind set at the moment. These poems are both made up of simple stanzas and diction, but they are not simple poems, and could be easily misunderstood.
In the poem “Desert Places” the male speaker is traveling through the countryside on a beautiful winter evening and is completely surrounded with the feeling of loneliness. The narrator views the snow-covered field as a desert place. “A blanker whiteness of benighted snow/ With no expression, nothing to express.” Whiteness and blankness are two key ideas in this poem. The white symbolizes open and empty spaces, the snow is a white blanket that covers up everything living. The blankness symbolizes the emptiness that the speaker feels. To him there is nothing around except for the snow and his lonesome thoughts. The speaker in this poem shows jealousy towards the woods. “The woods around it have it ? it is theirs.” The woods symbolize people and society. They have something that belongs to them that they can feel a part of. The speaker is so alone inside that he feels that he is not a part of anything. Nature has a way of bringing everything together to act as one, even animals are a part of the winter. “All animals are smothered in their lairs, / I am too absent spirited to count.” The snow makes everything around it white, and to him it is a feeling of numbness. “The loneliness includes me unawares.” The speaker has seemingly lost his zest for life. He is unable to express his feelings easily because of this numbness, also he is in denial about feeling alone. He does not care anything about too much “They cannot scare me with their empty space.” He is saying that no one cares how I feels, and that he does not need anyone else. “I have in me so much nearer home/ To scare myself with my own desert places.” The speaker to realizes that he had shut himself off from the world. He recognizes that the winter place is like his life, because he let depression and loneliness be in his life and take over like the snow had sneak up on the plains and covered it. If he continues to let these dominate his life eventually everything would be exactly like what the snow does to nature.
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is a much happier and more upbeat poem than “Desert Places,” and the titles alone proves this. This poem is about stopping to enjoy life. “But I have promises to keep, / and miles to go before I sleep.” The speaker in this poem was a very busy man who never had time for anything. Readers can sense a regret now. The man would like to stay and enjoy the woods, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.” The speaker seems concerned about what people would think about him just stopping in the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason. His horse represents society. “My little horse must think it queer/ To stop without a farmhouse near.” He admits that just stopping does seem odd. He is also concerned about the owner of the woods, he feels guilty for admiring the owners woods. “He will not see me stopping here/ To watch his woods fill up with snow.” The speaker’s life should be enhanced since he ?stopped to smell the roses.’ The trip to the woods was indeed a learning experience for him. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is the opposite of “Desert Places.” The settings may be the same, i.e both being calm, dark, wintry evenings, but they express different feelings. “Desert Places” is a depressing poem with a dull tone. The other is very happy one that lifts the spirit.
Though these poems are different they are also similar is some ways. They show two extremes of the same emotion that being alone can be positive or negative it just depends on your mind frame. Loneliness can be depressing, or it can be a time to see your thoughts and feelings without the pressures.
Robert Frost successfully created two winter scenes with different outcomes. The first, “Desert Places” is a sad poem about loneliness and loss of enthusiasm and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is an uplifting poem about enjoying the simple things in life.