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Robert Frost's Use of Poetic Devices in Stopping By Woods and The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost was an American poet born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He was famous for his extremely realistic depictions of rural life. Many of his poems were about the themes of time passing, making memories, decisions and journeys and/or life and death. Most of his poems were set in rural areas of New England, America. In his poems ‘The Road Not Taken’ and ‘Stopping By Woods’ he uses many different poetic devices, such as: metaphors, ironic tone, rhyming stanzas and repetition to communicate his main themes of time passing, decisions and memories.
Some similar techniques used by Frost in ‘Stopping By Woods’ and ‘The Road Not Taken’ are repetition and metaphors. The continual use of metaphors in both of these poems adds a certain depth to the poems, another layer of meaning. For example, “And miles to go before I sleep.” This line is the closing line of the poem ‘Stopping By Woods’, it may seem like the persona is talking about the length he has to travel before he can rest or before he reaches his destination, but this last line is repeated. This repetition reinforces Frost’s metaphoric connotations of sleep for death, linking this to the main things the persona has to do before he dies. Similarly, metaphors are used in ‘The Road Not Taken’ also, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” is the opening line in this poem. It has special significance because it hints to the main meaning of the poem. It may seem like the persona is talking about a fork that occurred in the road that he was travelling along in autumn, but there is underlying meaning. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” shows that he had a choice about what direction to take in life, or a decision to make. This gives a deeper meaning to Frost’s poetry so that ...

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Whereas ‘Stopping By Woods’ represents a pause in a journey, or wanting to succumb to darkness or even death, to lay down in the “downy” snow and sleep/die, “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep/And miles to go before I sleep,” but knowing that he can’t, “He will not see me stopping here/To watch his woods fill up with snow/But I have promises to keep.” Though contrasting these are still important concerns of Frost’s, the different season shows the difference between decisions, how they are made, and what keeps people moving forward, and the significance of taking these journeys.
These poems both have many different and interesting messages for readers. Frost expertly uses many different techniques including ironic tone, rhyming stanzas, repetition and metaphors which help him communicate him main concerns about time passing, life, death and decisions.
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