Frost?S ?Nothing Gold Can Stay? Essay, Research Paper
Frost’s Connection between Nature and Man
Robert Frost was one of the greatest American poets. He was an observer of nature, and therefore considered to be a “nature poet.” Frost once said, “There is almost always a person in my poems.” In Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” although it seems to be about nature, there is an obvious connection to man. This poem can be interpreted in many ways. In the novel The Outsiders, the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is used to describe a young boys connection to another social status through nature, some critics believe it refers to the loss of childhood as you mature, but it doesn’t necessarily have to refer to the loss of childhood, it could be a loss of any kind.
Have you ever gone to summer camp and regretted the moment you had to return home to reality? That is what this poem refers to, any sort of loss that you have no control over. Frost’s connection of nature to man’s loss is apparent. The flower in the poem describes your want, anything you’ve ever wanted to last longer than possible. The next line, “But only so an hour” describes the limit or boundary to your desire. An example is the fairy tale of Cinderella and the ball. She danced and wanted to make the night last forever, but at the stroke of midnight all was lost. A reference to the lines, “So dawn goes down today, nothing gold can stay.” Frost saw a beauty in nature that he wanted to last, that also connected to the beauty of desire that is often uncontrollable.
Opinions don’t always coincide, especially when discussing poetry. This is so usually between critics and readers. A notable critic on Frost’s work is John F. Lynen, who wrote the book The Pastoral Art of Robert Frost. Lynen states, “Frost sees in nature a symbol of mans relation to the world. This contrast between man and nature, is the central theme in Frost’s nature poetry” (145-6). Lynen specifically relates the poem to the loss of childhood. “The loss of beauty in the leaf is likened to the loss of innocence in Eden” (Lynen 153). Lynen also connects the line, “So dawn goes down today” as a reference to the time between dawn and sunset, as the established symbol of a mans life span. In doing so, he feels there is a connection to the loss as you develop from childhood to maturity (153).
Another spin on Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” is its use in the novel The Outsiders. A friend Johnny uses the poem to describe to his friend Ponyboy that how he loves a sunset is gold or pure. Ponyboy later uses the poem that his friend told him, to understand the differences between social standings. He wants to be with a rich girl named Cherry, but knowing that he is a “greaser” comes to the understanding that they can never be together. He asks her if she can see the sunset from her side of town as well as he can. They use nature to hold a connection between them. Again, Frost’s poem connects man to nature.
Poetry is a subject very often debated. Robert Frost was known mostly as a nature poet. Although his poems do refer to nature, in poetry there can sometimes be a
point that is overlooked. Using “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” there is an obvious connection between man and nature. The Outsiders used the poem to connect two different people, Lynen believes the poem signifies mans loss of innocence, and it could also simply represent a loss of any kind. One thing is certain, all three ideas have one common theme, mans connection to nature. Most poems are interpreted in many ways, and Frost thrived on that. Typical of Frost, he often quoted “The unsaid part is the best part.”
Lynen, John F. The Pastoral Art of Robert Frost. New Haven: Yale University Press,
I used John F. Lynen’s book The Pastoral Art of Robert Frost, because it was helpful to input a critics point of view on the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” I think it will be helpful to readers, because it has very interesting twist on Frost’s work. I agreed with a lot of what Lynen said. There is a lot more information in the book on Frost and his writing if needed for further writing. PS3511.R94 Z77