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The presentation of nature in Robert Frost's poetry

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Introduction

The presentation of nature in Robert Frost's poetry Many of Robert Frost's poems contain the vital ingredient of 'nature'. Frost uses nature as a metaphor, primarily, in his poems to express the intentions of his poems. He uses nature as a background metaphor in which he usually begins a poem with an observation of something in nature and then moves towards a connection to some human situation. He uses rural landscapes, homely farmers and the natural world to illustrate this human psychological struggle with everyday situations that we seem to experience. Frost uses blank verse in "The Wood-Pile" by using an iambic pentameter. This is very typical of Frost in his nature poetry. We get this use of iambic pentameter in "Mending Wall" and "After Apple-Picking". In "The Wood-Pile", some lines are blank verse, "To warm the frozen swamp as best it could" However, other lines present more stress and great irregularity, as in line 26, with its six stresses and spondaic emphasis on this year's snow, "No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it." In "The Wood-Pile", the speaker sees a bird, which eventually leads him to the wood-pile. ...read more.

Middle

"The Wood-Pile" is appealing, but the point Frost is trying to make could be perhaps speaking of human effort and what it comes to or hinting at despair. But the last two lines are warming and carves itself into the poem permanently, perhaps ending the poem with a sense of hope, in that the wood decays, generating heat, which makes it have some uses, even though it has been abandoned and left to rot, yet it is a hopeless task all the same. In "The Wood-Pile", there was 'hard snow', which held the speaker back from going any further, but the speaker persists on, but to only get lost. This leads the speaker to the woodpile to a revelation of human effort, despair and decay, here is an example where Frost uses nature as a barrier in his poems, but in a worthwhile way. Another example of this is in the poem, "Mending Wall". We have two men meeting only in terms of civility and neighbourliness to build a barrier between them. They do so out of habit and tradition. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "After Apple-picking", Frost deliberately leaves us in ambiguity, with the mystery of the rhymes, as when and how often they come. As there is no set rhyme scheme, this keeps words and sounds active to keep the reader on their toes. The poem could metaphorically suggest that it is about the efforts of writing poetry. The 'cider-apple heap' then makes a good metaphor for saved and recycled bits of poetry. The interpretation of 'sleep' could be the 'Final sleep' as the sleep of Woodchuck is the sleep of winter, which metaphorically, in the language of seasons, has strong associations with death. In general, nature is described with affection, yet none of the nature poems are free from hints of possible danger. However, Frost, when using nature, in his descriptions, is convincingly real. One can picture the situation; perhaps even feel the 'warmth' of the fire in "The Wood-Pile". Whichever way you see it, it is evident that nature plays an important role in Frost's poetry and "The Wood-pile" proves this and is a typical example of many of his other poems involving nature, with its blank verse that Frost has created to be his own using his symbolic language to make the poems more speech-like. ...read more.

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