The Imagery of Grief, Sorrow, and Death in the Poetry of Robert Frost Essay

The Imagery of Grief, Sorrow, and Death in the Poetry of Robert Frost Essay

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The use of poetry holds the ability to easily portray an array of emotions and philosophies. The intricate language that lies in poetry allows the writer to vivify images for the reader. In Robert Frost’s writing, he uses a multitude of images that often deal with nature to write on themes of death and sorrow.
Frost’s use of imagery to depict death can be seen in his poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Frost begins the poem with the speaker stating, “He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow” (Stopping by Woods 540). This statement could possibly be interpreted as the speaker not wanting to be seen stopping in the woods by God. The man in the village can be thought of as God because “[h]is house is in the village” and Frost’s use of house is similar to the house of God. Frost uses the imagery of the woods in the previous statement to depict death (Stopping by Woods 540). Therefore, the speaker watching the dark, cold woods fill with snow is an image used by Frost to hint that the speaker is contemplating death or suicide and that the speaker knows God would not like him thinking of death as an option. According to John Ogilvie, “The poet is aware that the woods by which he is stopping belong to someone in the village […] but at the same time they are his, the poet’s woods too, by virtue of what they mean to him in terms of emotion and private significance” (230). This idea that the woods belong to the poet is an essential idea to Frost’s poetry because Frost’s life was plagued with death and death is significant to him because it played a major role in his life.
In “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” Frost uses the imagery of nature to portray the life of the speaker. Frost describ...


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...ing” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E Gardener, Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl, and Peter Schakel. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013, 540. Print.
---. “The Road Not Taken” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E Gardener, Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl, and Peter Schakel. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013, 536. Print.
Ogilvie, John T. "From Woods to Stars: A Pattern of Imagery in Robert Frost's Poetry." South Atlantic Quarterly 58 (Winter 1959): 230. Rpt. in Poetry Criticism. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 39. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Criticism Online. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Stern, Fred. "Robert Frost: One Acquainted with the Night." World and I Mar. 2013. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
"The Road Not Taken." Poetry for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Mary Ruby. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 194-204. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.

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