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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – An Explication

Uploaded by lalaland on Nov 05, 2002

Robert Frost, one of the America’s most widely known 20th Century poets, was successfully able to live beyond his time, through his literature. Having won a Pulitzer Prize in his lifetime, Frost captured the poetic world with his subtlety and effectiveness. Using very basic language, he was able to convey a whole world of ideas and thoughts through his writing. One such example is the poem ‘stopping by woods on a snowy evening’. Here, Frost describes a very simple scene of a man, accompanied by his horse and carriage, stopping by a familiar setting of woods on the coldest day in the year. He also indicates that this man is on a journey of some sort, and is not able to remain at that stop for long. Frost utilizes various forms of imagery, figurative phrases and symbolic expressions, to create an atmosphere of tranquility mixed with a feeling of mystery throughout the poem.

Frost has employed very delicate imagery to create the world of nature in the poem. Throughout the description, Frost hints at the silence that surrounds the woods. He mentions the frozen lake and easy wind, that suggest a calm tranquility that envelopes the forest. Frost also describes the woods as peaceful yet mysterious. He indicates at how they ‘fill up with snow’, giving a sense of fullness, yet at the same time, serene motionlessness in the woods. Frost also mentions that the woods are secluded, ‘without a farmhouse near’ proposing a feeling of undisturbed isolation and harmony. Frost imagines the woods as dark and deep indicating a certain mysterious element related to the woods.

Embedded within his simple language, Frost includes certain figurative phrases that very effectively capture the picture he describes. When describing the woods as filling up with snow, Frost captures the core essence of the image of the light, dry snow that falls unto the woods. He also describes the sounds of ‘the sweep of the easy wind and downy flake’. Using the word ‘sweep’ to describe the wind, Frost helps the readers imagine the wind breeze, brushing along the snowy ground. While the word ‘downy’, relating to the feathers of a bird, characterize the snowflakes as light.

Using his imagery and figurative language, Frost is able to include certain symbolic characters into the poem. He has essentially utilised two images to illustrate the woods, or his paradise. With the image of snow indicating purity,...

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Uploaded by:   lalaland

Date:   11/05/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   3 pages (603 words)

Views:   3619

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