Poems by Robert Frost

Robert Frost lifetime

The Pasture
Spring = metaphor for new beginningsromantic, formal, iambic pentametertheme = to comfort a child –> assure the child that bad times will pas and good times will bloom againopening to his collection of poems –> like the gate opening into a pasture

Mending Wall
blank versea stone wall separates the speaker’s property from his neighbors –> in spring, the two meet to walk the wall and jointly make repairsspeaker sees no reason for the wall to be kept – he does not believe in walls for walls sake “good fences make good neighbors”

The Death of a Hired Man
A farm wife (Mary) pleads with her husband (Warren) to take back a former farmhand who has disappointed himFarmhand (silas) is very ill –> Mary eventually convinces him, but then Mary goes to get Silas and he is already deadcontains many of stereotypical characteristics of Frost’s poetry: rural environment, everyday struggle of farm couple over their relationship to farm hand, colloquial dialogueblank verse form makes the text extremely clear, Frost even breaks up stanzas by employing dialogue

The Road Not Taken
speaker stands in woods, considering a fork of the road –> both ways are equally worn and equally overlaid with un-trodden leavesspeaker chooses one, telling himself that he will likely take the other another day but knows it is unlikely that he will have opportunity to do so –> admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: he will claim that he took the road less-traveledtime leads to time four stanzas of five linesfour stressed syllables per line, varying on an iambic tetrameter base

when the speaker sees bent birch tress, he likes to think that they are bent because the boys have been “swinging” them (knows they are actually bent by ice storms)prefers vision of a boy climbing a tree carefully and then swinging at the tree’s crest to the ground, used to of this himself, dreams if going back to those dayslikens birch swinging to getting “away from the earth awhile” and then coming backblank verse, numerous variations on the prevailing iambic foot

Out, Out
A boy slicing wood for a stove gets called for supper by his sisterwriter personifies the saw which jumps up and nearly slices the boys hand off doctor comes to help, amputates the hand –> puts boy under ether anesthesia the boy diesthe family moves on and gets back to their affairsblank versecommon language for a serious matter

Fire and Ice
speaker considers whether the world will end in fire and icesimilar to: whether it would be preferable to freeze to death or burn to deathspeaker determines that either option would achieve its purpose sufficiently well

Nothing Gold Can Stay
simply states = nothing is permanent the good phases/things of life are represented by the “golden leaves””So dawn goes down to day” –> inversion (goes against normal thought)

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
set in a seaside, the people, out for a days recreation on the beach look only towards the water; they ignore the land from which they come, and look at the ocean out of the sense of wonder that some call the source of truththe real sense of truth is the land they have discarded and disregarded”they turn their back on the land”subtle satire on human nature of neglecting or escaping from the concrete reality before them and obsessively seeking to find the unreal the unknowable and the inaccessible

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