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Robert's Frosty Woods
The mood of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is artfully set by saying "the only other sound's the sweep / of easy wind and downy flake" (11-12). These lines convey they beautiful tranquillity of solitude. Many critics argue that the dark woods of the poem symbolize death. It is equally as valid to say that the poet is describing the joy experiencing a peaceful moment to him; the relaxing mood of the poem as well as the realization that the traveler must move on provide evidence contrary to the interpretation that the woods symbolize death.
A relaxing calming mood prevails in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". The only reference to sound is "the sweep / of easy wind and downy flake" (11-12). There is complete silence with the exception of this beautiful sound; there is no loud cacophony to imply the violence of death. The prevailing visual imagery is of a lovely wintry scene; at one point the woods are described as "lovely, dark, and deep" (16). This visual scene further contributes to the restful feel of the poem. The persona's only companion is his horse; this adds a solitary feel to the poem which when combined with the vivid imagery show the peacefulness of a moment alone.
The title "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" implies that this is a visit to the woods as opposed to a final resting-place. If this were the final destination, the title "Stopping in the Woods" or "Stopping at the Woods" would be more appropriate. Because the "horse must think it queer / to stop without a farmhouse near," (5-6) there must be some continuation to the journey; otherwise it would not seem odd to the horse to stop. The final lines "and miles to go before I sleep, / and miles to go before I sleep" (18-19) provide further evidence that there will be more to this journey; the depicted scene is only a resting-place.
Poetry interpretation in inherently personal due to the abstract nature of poetic language; what may be a valid interpretation for one reader might be completely meaningless to another.
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Frost, Robert. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." _Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays Ed. Hans P. Guth and Gabriele L. Rico. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 474.