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Robert Frost Selected Poems - 'The Road Not Taken' and 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' - Analysis and Appreciation

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Robert Frost Selected Poems 'The Road Not Taken' and 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' - Analysis and Appreciation Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on the 26th March 1874 and died on the 29th January 1963 in Boston. He was one of America's leading twentieth century poets and won many awards and honours, including four Pulitzer Prizes. When Frost was eleven, he moved to New England, where his interest in poetry came during his high school years at Lawrence, Massachusetts. He studied at Harvard from 1897 to 1899, although he did not get a formal degree. During his life, he went through many occupations such as working as a teacher and cobbler. He also managed a farm that his grandfather had bought him, but when this failed he decided to sell it and used the money to take his family to England, where he could devote his time to writing poetry. By the time he returned to the United States in 1915, he had written and published a number of collections and became one of America's most celebrated poets. With each new book - including 'Mountain Interval' (1916), 'New Hampshire' (1923) and 'Steeple Bush' (1947) - fame and publicity amplified. I do not read much poetry, although I particularly favour the writings of Robert Frost. Many of his poems including 'The Road Not Taken' and 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' focus on images and descriptions of the natural world. ...read more.


The narrator is walking through 'the road not taken' and looks into the future "with a sigh". He wonders what it will bring - will he be successful and reach his destination or not? There is an element of doubt in his mind - what if? What if he had taken the more common road, what would have happened? When people make choices in life, they always question the future. They hope that what they are doing will result in victory. If one succeeds in their goals, the chances are that they will never look back. On the other hand, if one does not attain their goal, they remember the other options they had and wish that they had chosen one of those, even though that may have also not worked. The traveller continues to think about the future as he walks and meets other forks (challenges), and considers what he will tell people about his choice... "Two roads diverged in to a yellow wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference" 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' comes across as very pensive and serene, describing, as many of Frost's poems do, tranquil images of nature. Although the poem does not have any direct metaphors and similes, there is a clear use of extended imagery which is the main poetic device in the poem although it takes a couple of reads before one can see it, unlike the subject of nature which can be seen in the first few lines. ...read more.


In 'Stopping By Woods...' the traveller is travelling on horseback on a snowy, dark evening as he passes peaceful, wild woods that belong to someone in the village. This could be a metaphor for unknown, unfamiliar circumstances. Even though one would think that the narrator is a different person each time, both travellers seem very similar. The traveller that takes 'the road not taken' is different from others. He seems to be a cool, level-headed, unbiased man who likes to take risks and try new challenges. The man who encounters the woods on a snowy evening is also different from others. Despite the cold and darkness, he insists on staying in the woods for some time. He loves the sense of desertion and loneliness and wants a break from the hustle and bustle of work. The dark and deep woods seem to reflect on him, revealing his dark emotion and depth of character. Both men are peculiar in their actions and views when compared with the majority of people, their deep thinking much the opposite to most of the impulsive minds of today. Both of the poems written by Frost have the use of extended imagery, giving them the 'Robert Frost's poetry' stamp straight away. Although the poems themselves are simplistic, plain and candid, they have very deep, significant and emotional messages, which teach readers the harsh realities of life. The poems provoke and challenge one's existence, bringing the true meaning of his words home to the reader, making them so beautiful and unique in their way. Mohini Yagnik Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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