Essay Robert Frost Snowy Evening

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dsocha64
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Poetry Essay

Snowy Woods: a Peaceful Moment or Crucial Crossroads? An essay on Robert Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening".

"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening", when read casually, presents the reader with a quiet moment, a respite, a short break from a journey. Peaceful and sleepy it almost comforts the reader with its imagery and sense of calm. Yet under that calm is a lot of emotional undercurrent, similar to the surface of a frozen river. Its what's under the ice that is more interesting.
Our main character, tells us in the first stanza that he has paused a moment (line 3). He has paused to take in a peaceful scene. The visual imagery of the woods filling "up with snow" (line 4) is rich. The snow is falling fast enough that it seems to be filling as he watches. How long does he pause? That depends on how fast the snow is falling. Long enough to see the "woods fill up" is what he says. The second stanza tells us that he has paused long enough that he's contemplating his horse's thoughts wondering what he thinks of standing there between the woods he is describing and a frozen lake (line 7) on an very dark evening. The darkest. (line 8) The third stanza makes us listen and asks the question, "Are we really supposed to be here?" (Line 10) We hear the horse shaking or tossing his head and correspondingly the harness bells jingle (line 9) and fade into the sound of a light wind and tiny pats of snowflakes landing. (Line 12) The fourth stanza tells us that the woods are "lovely dark and deep" (line 13) and gives us the idea that while he is enjoying his respite, he is tired and has a long way to go. (Lines 15 and 16) The poems slow tempo and soft rimes contribute to a feeling of melancholy as we watch him resume his journey.
It is with a second reading that questions appear. The literal imagery is solid yet many questions could be…...

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