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Robert Frost is an American poet - What do you find specifically American in his poems and what do you find is universal?

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Introduction

ROBERT FROST IS AN AMERICAN POET. WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIFICALLY AMERICAN IN HIS POEMS AND WHAT DO YOU FIND IS UNIVERSAL? Robert Frost wrote many poems about everyday rural life that are closely linked with human emotions. Most of his poems contain hidden meanings that are not clear at first sight. Firstly, I will talk of the specifically American aspects in Frost's poems. One thing sometimes found in Frosts poems that is American is the place in which the poem is set. The locations of Frosts poems often give a feeling of wide stretching forests and fields that go on for miles that don't exist in many other countries. "I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line" This phrase, from "Mending Wall", immediately suggests vast amounts of space as the speaker talks of, "beyond the hill", having a hill on ones land indicates that it must be spacious, and, "we meet to walk the line", this 'walking the line' gives an image of a boundary between two sizeable pieces of territory. ...read more.

Middle

However, I believe that these parts of the poems are superficial and aren't really important to the poem's content and idea. American traditions are also sometimes mentioned in Frost's poems. "I like to think some boy's been swinging on them" This line, from "Birches", talks of the tradition of swinging from branches of birch trees. The speaker tells the reader of how young boys, who are far away from a town and other young children, like to swing from branches. "Birches" also mentions another American tradition, "Some boy too far away from town to learn baseball" Lastly, I will discuss the distinctive American climate that is portrayed in Frost's poems. "We sit indoors and talk of the cold outside. And every gust that gathers strength and heaves Is a threat to the house." It is not often that you see climates like this outside of America, Especially not in the United Kingdom. "He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow." This line is from "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, also some of his rhyme patterns were unique and exclusive to him. An example of this can be taken from "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening". He uses the same rhyme sound for each line in the four-lined verse, except for line three when he uses a new rhyme sound. He then carries this rhyme down to the next verse as the common rhyme sound and so on. When he reaches the last verse the rhyme sounds are all the same. This is a very clever technique as it makes the poem flow well and allows the reader to see the interconnecting superficial theme and hidden meaning. Also by keeping the rhyme sound constant in the last verse he makes his final point stand out and rounds off the poem. In conclusion, I would say that on the whole Frost's poems are universal and have universal appeal as they deal mainly with human emotions. The aspects of his poems that are specific to America are superficial and have no real relation to the poems themes and ideas. English Vicky Maberley LVI 5th March 2003 page 1 ...read more.

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