The rhyme scheme of Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ negates the idea of the ‘choice’ of the author in the poem, insofar as each quintain is dominated by three lines of an initial rhyme in iambic tetrameter and only two of the second, the effect of this is to show the imbalance of the choice that the author is making and so helps to tell the story. However, it could be argued that the ending rhyme being the second rhyme suggests that the narrator is unwilling to fully let go of the less dominant choice, it is this human reluctance that Frost manages to capture within his poem, ‘And sorry I could not Travel Both’ (2), showing that the narrator had hesitations about the future and the certain fear of the unknown, a relatable fear to all decisions. Even so, the more likely reason for the uneven balance of rhymes in the stanzas is to show how in most decisions there are, in fact, imbalances favouring one choice and a reluctance to follow it for the fear that the other road will offer something better. It is through the rhymes of the poem that we can establish the uncertainty of the narrator’s disposition, but also the weighting of the choices he has to make.
However, in Frost’s ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’, the rhyme scheme is used as a way of lulling the reader into the sense and tone of the moment. In three of the four quatrains, Frost rhymes the first two and the ending line, the effect of this is to set a rhythm for the reader. The exception to the rhyme in the penultimate line of each stanza comes naturally and serves to highlight the final rhyme, not itself; ‘the darkest evening of the year’ (8), conveying the a tone of calm and somehow transitory isolation in the superlative ‘darkest’ and ‘the year’ sugg...
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...a Snowy Evening’.
Robert Frost expertly uses the narrative style in order to tell a brief story and reflection of perception to the reader of the poem. These tales are reflections of humanity and so it is their simple relatability that enhances the meaning and makes them transferable to everyday life, similar to how the simple plot of a children’s book might do. Furthermore, the clever use of tone by introducing rhyme schemes and dramatic devices make the poems echo their meaning in a phonetic manner, such as the anaphoric repetition sounding like footsteps in ‘The Road Not Taken’ and the lulling continuity of rhyme in ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’. However, the most important way in which a story is told is through the reflections of the reader and their transference of memory and feeling that give the tales meaning and bring them to life.
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