A Longing For the Days Gone By

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The simple yet extraordinary emotion of nostalgia has been ingrained in mankind since inception. Every single individual has experienced this intense emotion at one point their life, sometimes even regularly. A feeling of sentimental longing for the past, sometimes referred to as 'looking back on the good old days' are typical of being in a state of nostalgia. Robert Frost demonstrates the natural emotion of nostalgia in his poems “Birches” and “The Road Not Taken”. Although both poems convey the feelings of wistful yearning for the days gone by, each poem addresses different kinds of nostalgia: the longing for a carefree, adventurous childhood of the past and the nostalgic reflection of life choices. Both poems make use of differing poetic structures—in addition to various poetic tools—to create the manifestation of nostalgia within their poems. Robert Frost's “Birches” is written in blank verse and in mostly consistent iambic pentameter. The dependable rhythm of this poem can be likened to the reliability and purity of a child. This poem is not broken into stanzas, rather it is compact with his message and vivid images. This may be due to the fact that—in addition to Frost's desire for this poem to be read conversationally—the compact nature of this poem is attempting to explain the speaker's thoughts and observations in as little space as possible. “The Road Not Taken” is a poetic quintain consisting of four stanzas with five lines in each stanza. Each quintain's rhyme is a dependable ABAAB scheme. The rhyme scheme is comparable to the petrarchan sonnet and the rhyming couplets appear to provoke a sense of focused reflection. The rhythm of this poem is slightly more challenging. It is written in an iambic tetrame... ... middle of paper ... ...nation of regret for life choices. Robert Frost exceptionally portrays the different types of nostalgic feelings within his poems. Skillfully constructed structures and expressive imagery, and vivid symbolism lend a beneficial hand in helping these authors convey meaning. Ultimately, though both poems have differing perspectives of nostalgia, their poems express true nostalgia nonetheless. Works Cited Frost, Robert. “Birches”. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7Th Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007. 1961-62. Print. Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken”. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7Th Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007. 1960. Print. Lerych, Lynne, and Allison DeBoer. The Little Black Book of College Writing. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin, 2012. Print
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