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Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening is a poem that works on so many levels. This poem uses all sorts of literary tools to convey deeper meanings. Such tools as allegory and imagery are used in such simple manner as to not confuse the reader but also get the deeper meaning across. For these reasons, and more, I think that Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening is a timeless classic and my favorite poem.
One thing that Robert Frost does in all of his poems is he writes them in such a way as to not be very hard on the reader. In Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening, there are not any big words to cope with, there are not any confusing words that might make the reader stop and think. It has a very pleasing sound. By this I mean that it rolls of the tongue and that it rhymes. It has a very “Dr. Suess” feel to it. This feel allows the reader to flow through the poem without any real deep thought. The form of this poem is characterized as closed form. That means that is has regular meter, rhyme and length. For example, the first stanza reads:
Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
This stanza is the perfect example of what I am talking about. Each line is 8 syllables long and they flow with a regular beat that can be followed by anyone. Even though the structure is very simple, it offers a sense of great imagery.
This poem, more than any other I have read, paints a vivid picture in my mind. It is as if I am actually the man in this poem. There is one stanza that leaps out at me. It reads as follows:
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
The last two lines are what paint the picture here for me. I can just see the path that they are stopping on and the horse and the man. It is just so real for me.
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Along with a strong sense of imagery, this light-hearted poem offers a heavy dose of allegory with a strong message. Allegory is a sense of a hidden, deeper meaning than what is on the surface. Of course everyone will have a different take on every poem, but to me this poem presents a strong allegorical meaning. I believe the allegorical meaning to be as simple as, “Take time to stop and smell the roses.” Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening says to me that a person should take the time in their busy lives to just stop, take a deep breath and look at the world around them and appreciate the little things. Not to dwell on them, but just to appreciate them and then move on in your life because there are many things that you have to do before you are through here on earth. I believe this sense of allegory is most strongly conveyed in the last stanza that reads:
These woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
This ending paragraph conveys the allegorical message even stronger by emphasizing that while it is important that an individual stops and appreciates the little things in life, that person should not let it interfere with his/her normal life. Just a little sniff every once in a while is enough.
Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening is an American classic. Its regular use of rhyme and meter give it a very “Dr. Suess” feel to it that allow for a very enjoyable read. The imagery that it conveys is brilliant and colorful. It makes the reader feel as if he or she is the man in the poem. Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening is also a poem with a very strong and meaningful message. The strong allegorical usage, the vibrant imagery conveyed to the reader and the closed form structure all make for a very enjoyable poem that is a favorite among many, many people.