Robert Frost "Woods", "Birches", "Road", "Gold"

Topics: EnvironmentNature

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Last updated: December 11, 2019

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Summary:
The speaker in the poem is traveling at night through the snow and pauses with his horse near the woods by a neighbor’s house to watch the snow falling around him. His horse shakes his harness bells, questioning the pause; perhaps this place isn’t on their usual route, or he is curious that there doesn’t appear to be a farmhouse nearby.The speaker continues to stand near the woods, attracted by the deep, dark silence of his surroundings. He feels compelled to move further into the snowy woods, but he ultimately decides to continue, concluding with perhaps the most famous lines of the poem: ‘But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.’

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Themes:
captures a pull between life and death, man, and nature.

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“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Rhyme Scheme
A,A,B,AB,B,C,BC,C,D,CD,D,D,Diambic tetrameter

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Modernism trait/technique?
repetition’And miles before I sleep And miles before I sleep’

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Alliteration/Personification examples:
A: ‘Whose woods, his house’P: ‘To as if there is some mistake’

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Metaphor:
Speaker has lots of life ahead of him

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” Summary:
Frost explores the idea that nothing good or precious can last forever by using nature and The Garden of Eden as metaphors for cycles of life and death and the loss of innocence.

This short poem uses a number of literary devices including paradox, juxtaposition, personification, and allusion to convey its themes.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” Modernism trait/technique?
the rhythm makes it sound sing-songy, similar to a nursery rhyme. The contrast between the simple, almost child-like structure of the poem and the deep, reflective tone is an example of a JUXTAPOSITION. (when two different objects or concepts are placed next to each other in order to emphasize their contrast.)

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” Rhyme Scheme
AA BB CC DD

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” Theme
Nothing good can last. Nature symbolizes the idea that all the good and beautiful things in life will eventually fade away.

In “Nothing Gold Can Stay” how do you interpret ‘Nature’s first green is gold,’
It is an example of a PARADOX (a statement that is seemingly impossible, but is actually true).

In this case, it is true if you understand that ‘gold’ is a symbol. Frost is saying that the first green of spring is extremely beautiful and precious.

In “Nothing Gold Can Stay” ‘So Eden sank to grief’ means?
It’s an ALLUSION to the Biblical story about The Garden of Eden, a perfect paradise until Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

“Birches” Rhyme Scheme
Blank verses, Iambic Pentameter

“Birches”- ‘Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair/ Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.’
Simile- The broken trees are compared to girls drying their hair in the sun. This simile shows how the imagination can carry the speaker and reader away.

“Birches” ‘Life is too much like a pathless wood’
Simile- compares life to an overgrown forest. It’s hard to tell what direction you’re going when you can’t find a path and end up getting poked in the eye by a twig.

“Birches” Theme:
imagination as a way to overcome the harsh realities of the material world. The need to understand things as they really are.

“Birches” swinging symbolizes:
The individual’s capacity to show what can be in the midst of what is. Humans living in a world of joy and happiness, even when in reality the individual “grows weary of considerations.”

“The Road Not Taken” Summary:
The poem describes a person standing at a fork in the road in a wood, unsure which one to take.

Frost uses the road as a metaphor for the journey of life. Each decision we make is like a turn in the road, and choosing what to do with our lives can be like choosing which turn to take at a fork in the road.

“The Road Not Taken” rhyme scheme
‘ABAAB.’

“The Road Not Taken” modernism trait/technique?
The things that make ‘The Road Not Taken’ modernist include simple language, the fact that the poem is unclear and the not-quite-happy mood of the poem.

“The Road Not Taken” theme
Journey of life and curiosity over what could have been, which is represented in the poem’s title.

How does the speaker feel about which “Road” he chose?
the reader gets to decide- disappointed or happy or both?

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