Inquisitive Travelers

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Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and Christina Rossetti’s poem “Up-Hill” share a common dominant theme which deals with humankind’s passage from the cradle to the grave.

Additionally both works are examples of poetry which are;

Rich in imagery,

Highly effective in the use of figurative language, metaphors, and personification

Contain symbolism and allusions.

In both poems imagery is a dynamic element. Robert Frost paints a clear image of someone traveling in the woods and the dark night, by use of the opening line “whose woods these are I think I know”. (Frost 1) Frost’s opening line establishes an image of both location and the feeling of doubt which the speaker recognizes. The doubt is found in the words “I think I know”. (Frost 1) Christina Rossetti presents the reader with a clear view of a road winding up a long hill and a weary traveler. Her opening line “does the road wind up-hill all the way?” not only indicates a toilsome journey but it demonstrates the travelers’ fatigue as it sounds much like a child asking the question “are we there yet”.

Clearly both of these opening lines establish the location and give an indication of the impending state of mind of the protagonist. While the Frost poem offers a clearer view of the physical geography of the location in the forest through the statement “between the woods and frozen lake” (Frost 9) Rossetti gives the reader a sense of the emotional weariness of one asking “is there for the night a resting place?”(Rossetti 5) By use of imagery we clearly see the both the place and the condition of the travelers. In both works the imagery brings the reader to a level where figurative language can be understood.

The rich imagery in these two works b...

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...al and Critical Study, Boston, Roberts

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Frost, Robert. “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Literature: Reading Fiction,

Poetry and Drama, Robert DiYanni, Sixth ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. 767. Print.

Poirier, Richard, Paraphrased from the book Robert Frost: The Work of Knowing. Copyright ©

1977 by Oxford University Press, Web. October 5, 2011

.

Rossetti, Christa, “Up-Hill ” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Robert DiYann.

Sixth ed. New York: McGraw Hill 2007. 807. Print.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha, Michael

D. Coogan ,Marc Zvi Brettler , Carol A. Newsom, Pheme Perkins Editors, Third Sub Edition

et al. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001, print

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