Introduction to Robert Lee Frost

Robert Lee Frost was a great America Poet who was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, Ca and who later died on January 29, 1963 in Boston, Ma. He used rural settings in his poetry and often took a social and philosophical approach to his writings. He coined many poems and also wrote a few plays including "The Masque of reason." He had many achievements through his life that included over 40 honorary degrees from colleges such as Oxford and Harvard. His greatest achievements, though, were the four Pulitzer Prizes he had won for his work. He was a great poet who is often quoted and never forgotten.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening

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 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 is 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.

1 comment:

  1. Robert Frosts work “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” is one of Frosts most discussed works, which is still shrouded with mystery. The rich imagery combined with the calm stanzas gives the reader an eerie glimpse into the speaker’s decision to pause by an enticing snowy patch of woods. The tranquil unhurried flow of the poem also gives the reader a soft picturesque image that with each stanza becomes a more vivid look into the intriguing thoughts of the speaker. The poem, although greatly discussed, still perplexes readers with its captivating tone and uncanny curiosity that draws the reader into a state of mysterious question.
    The first stanza in the poem allows the reader to notice that the poem being presented is from the speaker’s point of view by stating, “Whose woods these are I think I know.” The poem continues through the first stanza as the speaker stops his horse drawn carriage to peer into the deep and dark woods covered in the innocents of snow. The captivating sight of the dark woods covered in the innocent white snow compels the speaker to stop and ponder which also intrigues the reader to consider the reason for the unexpected stop. Maybe he stopped to admire the peaceful silence of the woods, where none of the ordinary limitations of the world seem to apply or maybe he stopped to take his mind off of some uneasy thought.
    The second stanza of the poem encroaches upon the reader with the sense that the poem may not be as innocent and calm as it began. This stanza begins with the speaker beginning to wonder what the horse may be contemplating on such an inexcusable stop. The speaker thus, begins to hint at the idea that he has some distance left to travel, considering he is between the “woods and the frozen lake.” The speaker also states that it is “The darkest evening of the year” which could be a description of the winter solstice on December twenty-second. Another point of view considered, could be that since he is trapped between the “woods and the frozen lake” on “the darkest evening of the year” he might be at a low-point in his life or possibly something terrible has recently happened around this time.
    The third stanza of the poem opens with “He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake.” The speaker describing the horse gives the reader the understanding of how perplexing his stop by the woods must be considering the horse is attempting to draw the speaker back to the task at hand. However, the speaker still overwhelmed by the sight of the woods continues unfazed by the horse and states “The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.”
    The fourth and final stanza ends with the speaker admiring the woods for the mysterious pull yet also attempting to shake himself back to reality by remembering his
    obligations. Thus the last line “And miles to go before I sleep, And Miles to go before I sleep” leaves the reader considering the metaphor that life although short in span still leaves time for spiritual experiences that may help to settle an uneasy mind. This poem in particular leaves the deciphering and purpose of the stop by the woods up to the individual reader.

    Frost, Robert. "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." Norton Anthology of American Literature. 1865-Present. Nina Baym. New York City: W.W. Norton, 2007. Print.