critical analysis on robert frost

Luis Torres May 22, 2012 Critical Analysis Essay “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. ” This is one of many quotes by Robert Frost. He defied his quote in all of his poetry. Robert Frost surely had something to say to the world and he delivered his message through all of his great works. Throughout his poems Robert Frost uses imagery to develop strong pieces of literature. His imagery appeals further then our senses; he develops a poem which is filled with deep meaning, a poem which captures feelings and beliefs.

In his poems Frost also uses nature to represent several things in his poems. Once understood the poem becomes a much better experience for the reader. His poems, once read, become wonderful works which will stay with you forever. “The ambiguity Frost finds in nature becomes a metaphor for the ambiguity he finds in the Human experience” (1). This exposes us to one of Frosts my ideas on nature. He believes that nature is uncertain, unclear, and spontaneous. He makes a direct connection with this to humans, we, like nature, are unpredictable.

In his poem Birches he uses the little boy playing in the trees to show the human experience and how it correlates with nature, in his poem Stopping by the Woods he uses the narrator just the same. Birches exposes us to a child who wishes to ‘capture’ the trees, “Frost may be suggesting that the boys need to subdue and conquer the trees points to the destructive side of human nature”(1). In Stopping by Woods something similar is shown; “My little horse must think it queer. To stop without a farmhouse near. Between the woods and frozen lake. The darkest evening of the year…….

The woods are lovely dark and deep…” This is a direct quote from Frosts poem, in these stanzas (this is an excerpt from stanza 2 and 4) one can draw many conclusions however, “Critics have suggested that the speaker in Stopping by Woods may have a death wish. As he stops to watch the “lovely, dark and deep” woods fill up with snow, he is pulled into the tranquil scene with its ‘easy wind and downy flake’ and could be contemplating suicide. ’” This makes another connection to the main topic, ambiguity in nature and humanity. Human nature tells us to avoid death; however the narrator is contemplating suicide.

Nature in this selection is also ambiguous. There is a vast contrast in this poem. From description you receive a rather scary description, an anxious horse, a dark silent night many miles away from the nearest home. However the narrator finds peace in these woods. Peace which he might have not been able to find anywhere else (1). The next thing Frost uses his imagery for is also connected to nature. He uses nature to show us internal desires on the exterior world. Frost does this in two ways: Using comparisons between two objects and by using natural elements in their natural forms to represent a deeper meaning (i. . symbolism). First and foremost, the juxtaposes Frost uses gives us vivid images, which undercut “his imaginative, pleasing image with the harsher truth”(1). This gives us a sense of growing up, a child beginning to see this ‘perfect’ world is very much imperfect. It’s in a sense, an internal conflict. Still looking for the beauty in the world but yet being burdened with the knowledge of all the troubles this world (in this case nature) endures. There is also a contrast taking place within the poem Stopping by Woods. Beyond the white snow and dark forest, a contrast is taking place with the horse and Narrator.

The horse is seemingly innocent and simple while the narrator is rather mysterious. The narrator has full knowledge of the danger, but yet he wishes to stay. The horse acts as a saving grace and snaps the narrator from his trance like state. By pulling the narrator away the horse then ends the narrator’s previous desire and draws him back to the real world, waking him up from his short ‘escape’(2). This is exactly what the man in each poem wants, an escape. “The speakers in both poems feel the need to get away from earth awhile but also to come back to it and begin over”(1).

In birches we are exposed to a boy playing on trees, as stated before. However the narrator tells us he also wishes to climb on the branches of the Birch. “He wants to swing in the trees, not conquer them as the boy does, but to have an opportunity to reach up toward heaven. So, while the trials of life prompt him to search for a higher power that can lead him to paradise, he ultimately is more comfortable with the ‘truth’ of his earthly existence. Yet he would like to experience both worlds, climbing toward heaven, till the tree can bear no more, then dipping him back to heaven”(1).

Going back to Stopping by Woods the notion of a suicidal man also goes to the concept of escape, although his, a much more permanent one. In this poem “he decides that while the scene could offer him ultimate peace, he will remain [alive]”(2) In both of the poems nature is being shown as the escape they want from the real world, more so in Stopping by Woods, as Wendy Perkins states about Birches, “He is ultimately more comfortable with the ‘Truth’ of his earthly existence. Yet he would like to experience both worlds”. Frost questions nature and spirituality in not only these poems but a few others.

To fully grasp one of Frosts poems one must dissect his poems and gain a complete understand of his poems and the words which they contain. Frost addresses many things in his poems, and shows his aptitude of writing. “The wisdom of Frosts poetry lies not so much in what he says as in the way he says it. The form is the major content. He has some ulteriority about it, a meaning beyond what is said. ” Frost said “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ” This is without a doubt true.

Frost put his all into his poetry and it truly shows. The imagery he uses comes to life; the feelings expressed become one’s own. Whether his poetry was meant to represent the general human experience or to shed some light on Frosts own private life is something his readers may never know. But Robert Frost truly is a swinger of birches, his words a gift from the dipping, snow white trunk. Works Cited 1. Perkins, Wendy. “Critical Essay on ‘Birches’. ” Poetry for Students. Ed. Elizabeth Thomason. Vol. 13. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 May 2012. http://go. galegroup. com/ps/i. do? id=GALE%7CH1420037542&v=2. 1&u=24000&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w 2. “Birches- Poets. org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. ” Birches- Poets. org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 22 May 2012. <http://www. poets. org/viewmedia. php/prmMID/15729>. 3. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening- Poets. org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. ” Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening- Poets. org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 22 May 2012. <http://www. poets. org/viewmedia. php/prmMID/20519>.

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