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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Eve

Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", seems to be a simple story of a man and his horse. It portrays beautiful imagery with an enjoyable rhythm and rhyming scheme. Taking a second look at this poem may bring a more complex curiosity about what Frost is exactly trying to achieve through his words. It is apparent in the breakdown of the poem that new meanings and revelations are to be found. This is seen by relating almost all of his statements to each stanza and line. Robert Frost's aesthetic philosophy about "Stopping by Woods" gives a more penetrating view into his work.

"It [the poem] finds its own name as it goes and discovers the best waiting for it in some final phrase at once wise and sad." (Frost 985). The title, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", identifies the general image the reader would envision while reading the poem. It clearly depicts the general perception of the character. It takes on that the story line of the poem is the character standing in the woods on a snowy night reflecting on life and his surroundings. As the poem comes to an end with: "And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."(l. 15-16) it takes on the feeling of a wise choice with the right intentions in mind. At the same time, it gives the gloomy feeling of a tired person who must go on through the dark woods alone with his horse at night, who must carry on no matter what. Frost describes this by explaining ."..the happy-sad blend of the drinking song." (Frost 985). It can be viewed that even though the character is alone and glum now, that there may be some form of salvation awaiting him.

Frost writes "It begins in delight and ends in wisdom." (Frost 985). At the beginning of the poem, th...

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...the unclear philosophy of the poem must also be looked at from an open-minded point of view. Applying the explanation of the poem, sentence by sentence to the semi-uncovered descriptions of the phases of life, a whole new story comes into perspective. Once studied and looked at carefully, the uncovering of each statement comes out and everything unclear and metaphorical that Frost writes is a lot easier to understand and see.

Works Cited

Frost, Robert. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Vol. 1 3rd ed. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair. New York: Norton, 2003. 214-215.

Frost, Robert. "The Figure a Poem Makes." 1939. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Vol. 1 3rd ed. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair. New York: Norton, 2003. 985.
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