Nothing Gold Can Stay is a poem written by Robert Frost in 1923. The poem consists of eight lines and has become an iconic piece of literature, often quoted to illustrate the idea that nothing lasts forever. In this poem, Frost uses nature as a metaphor for life's fleeting moments of beauty and perfection. He compares gold to those special times when everything seems perfect, but ultimately, these moments cannot be sustained; they are always short-lived.
The poem's primary message is that of acceptance: we must accept that nothing can stay beautiful or perfect forever and learn to move on from it gracefully instead of trying to cling to something that will eventually pass away, no matter how hard we try to keep it alive. This sentiment has been echoed throughout many different works in both fiction and nonfiction over the years since its publication. For example, Ernest Hemingway wrote, "The world breaks everyone" in his novel, A Farewell to Arms (1929). Similarly, Toni Morrison wrote, "Love is never any better than the lover" in her novel Beloved (1987). These two authors were clearly inspired by Frost's work, as their words convey similar themes about accepting impermanence, even though they come from completely different eras and styles of writing.
Frost himself was likely influenced by ancient Greek philosophers such as Heraclitus, who believed that all things are constantly changing, including human emotions like joy or sorrow. So there can never be anything permanent or lasting in our lives, regardless of what we wish for. Even today, this notion remains relevant, with people still striving for what they perceive as perfection, only for it to inevitably slip through their fingers before long due to time's ephemeral nature, which makes us appreciate whatever brief momentary bliss comes along more keenly.
This timeless concept expressed in Robert Frost's poetry has continued to be widely appreciated across multiple generations until now because readers find comfort knowing there exists someone who understands how fragile life truly is despite their best efforts at trying to preserve certain elements within their lives at least momentarily while also learning important lessons on how letting go without resentment may sometimes actually lead toward greater happiness than clinging onto something gone beyond recall ever could have done anyway. This makes Nothing Gold Can Stay an enduring classic worth revisiting.