Robert Frost’s Poetry
Prof. Ezekiel Jarvis
December 30th, 2017
Robert Frost’s poetry drives a
sense of nostalgia that creates images of a place, thing or the feeling
associated with his poetry. He is an amazing poet; who is able to “engage new
generations of scholars through biographical, cultural, or theoretical ideas”
. Mr. Frost had dealt with themes involving “resentment, hostility, fear,
isolation, and despair that are hidden under humor” . Therefore, Robert
Frost’s poetry has a sense nostalgia is derived from these themes that are
common and has been experienced by the masses.
Frost was a symbolic figure in the academic culture, especially in redefining
“American Literature” during a time where modernism and modernist were
considered unconventional . Mr. Frost had participated in various debates
about his modernism making documents and allowing a deeper understanding of his
life’s work . This is also portrayed in his poem “Fire and Ice” where he
speaks of the end of the world whether it be fire or ice, it wouldn’t matter
because according to the speaker, “to say destruction from ice is also great
and would suffice” (“fire and ice”,
lines 7-9). The poem “Fire and Ice” has a humorist tone with the theme being
destruction and despair. At the time period and style in which the poem was
written could be considered as unconventional. There is also associated imagery
with this poem where the word “world” can be viewed as planet Earth or society
that we live in and the concept of “fire and ice” is more mental rather than
physical. Therefore, Robert Frost took traditional ideas and concept with a
twist of modernism that challenged scholars to contemplate the significance of
Robert Frost’s poetry also relays
the relationship between humans and nature. Nature is a very common occurrence
in Mr. Frost’s poetry; such as in poems like “the road not taken” or “stopping
by woods on a snowy evening”. Robert Frost was described to be “a genius of is
art” who was also known to be “cunning and crafty” when it came to his art;
which was proven after his death . Nature provides a physical experience
along with a mental and emotional connection when expressed in poetry . For
example, in “A road not taken” it described two paths that are
possible to take to get to a destination. It is shown when the speaker says,
“because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for the passing there
had worn them really the same” (“the
road not taken”, lines 8-10). Another example can be seen where nature in
relation with a human in “stopping by woods on a snowy evening”. As
the speaker is exploring his land, there is a scene where the speaker says,
“to stop without a farmhouse near between the woods and frozen lake the
darkest evening of the year” (“stopping
by woods on a snowy evening”, lines 6-8). It creates a scenery for what the
speaker is experiencing rather than what the speaker is saying. Therefore,
Robert Frost’s poetry has a sense of nostalgia because of the effect of the
natural world has on the human observer; such as natural objects having
manifestations in poetry rather than being lifeless objects .
Finally, the use of repetition and
echo that either amplify the poem and create an emotional experience. Robert
Frost used devices like repetition, rhyme, and paradox to create an interest in
the poem and force the reader or listener to watch out for every word . For
example, in the poem “stopping by woods on a snowy evening” that follows a
rhyme along with repetition that is not exactly apparent but is visible by the
end; when the speaker creates an echo of the last sentence as he says,
“But I have promised to keep and miles to go before I sleep”
(“stopping by woods on a snowy evening”, lines 14-16). Mr. Frost was
exceptionally well at combining modernist awareness that is also evident in
“stopping by wood on a snowy evening”. However, He was a poet whose audience
was not really interested in poetry or anything with extensively complicated
ideas; thus, the poetry by Robert Frost has such an exceptional outcome that is
brought upon by repetition or echo . In the poem “the road not taken” there
is a constant repeat of a rhythm that creates a sense of repetition. For example,
when the speaker says, “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and
ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled
by, and that has made all the difference” (“the
road not taken”, lines 16-20). This
last stanza of the poem creates a repetition but also an emphasis on how the
poem began on there being two diverging paths in woods and repetition of word
“age” is another example. Therefore, the repetition and echo creates
a mystery but not extensively that still provides a balance in the poem so that
it is not boring.
In conclusion, Robert Frost is a modernist
poet who uses repetition and rhyme echo that is used effectively in poems
involving human relations with nature. Mr. Frost explored the balance in a poem
along with creating an emotional connection with the reader or listener, as
they get the sense of nostalgia in his poetry.
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Timothy, D. “Prospects for the Study of Robert Frost.” Resources for
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Columbia University Press. 31 Dec. 2017.
Robert. “Fire and Ice by Robert Frost.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry
Foundation, June 2016, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44263/fire-and-ice.
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