Comparing Frost’s "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", "Birches", and "The Road Not taken" Robert Frost was an American poet that first became known after publishing a book in England. He soon came to be one of the best-known and loved American poets ever. He often wrote of the outdoors and the three poems that I will compare are of that "outdoorsy" type. There are several likenesses and differences in these poems. They each have their own meaning, each represent a separate thing and each tell a different story. However, they are all indicative of Frost’s love of the outdoors, his true enjoyment of nature and his wistfulness at growing old. He seems to look back at youth with a sad longing. Each of these three poems are alike in that they are all about woods and outdoors or an item in the woods. The word "wood" or "woods" is used in each of these poems, at least once. It is used to represent both literally the tree or trees, and figuratively, they represent a journey to peace, a climb to "heaven". In "The Road Not Taken", the "wood" is merely the setting. It is described as a "yellow wood". This is obviously fall. I can see the orange, yellow and red leaves, lying all around. The gray/brown bark of the trees where the leaves are already fallen. The bright plumes where they have not. The trees also hide the road as it passes from sight around the bend. This symbolizes the uncertainty of the future. You can look ahead, but there is no way to know what is around the next bend. "Birches" is seems to be entirely about woods and trees. As the name implies, this is the main focus though the story. They are shown as an opponent for a boy that, once beaten, though very resilient, will never rise again. He describes them as being laden down with the results of an ice storm, but that he would like to think of them as being bent over by this boy. His use of the ice storm and the boy seems to represent his wistfulness at growing old and his desire to be young again. This was written when he was about 45. About the time that he would have a mid-life crisis. He can see that he is no longer the young man that once he was, not able to climb the trees like he did nor able to p...
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...an hear the ice falling now and again, and the cracking of the birches as they blow one against another. In "The Road Not Taken", the focus is not on the woods themselves, but on the road that passes through them. The woods are the setting and they hide the road after it curves, as time hides the future from our eyes. Outwardly, this poem is about two roads, one that is well traveled and one that is not. Though both are worn about the same. The author takes the road that had not been taken, the grass tall and the leaves still freshly fallen and not trod on. This also symbolizes the choices that we have to make in our lives. We can follow others like sheep or we can boldly go our own way. The author went his own way and "that has made all the difference"! As has been shown, Frost uses his love of the outdoors to pull the reader there as well. His style of writing tells us much of the poet. He is leery of growing old and he looks back on youth with wistfulness and longing for another, happy time. This is something that we all share with him and this shared experience helps us to enjoy his poetry all the more, as it seems to tell our own story too.
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