Robert Frost - A Comparisson of 3 Poems


Comparing Frost?s "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", "Birches", and "The Road Not taken" Robert Frost was an American poet that first became known after publishing a book in England. He soon came to be one of the best-known and loved American poets ever. He often wrote of the outdoors and the three poems that I will compare are of that "outdoorsy" type. There are several likenesses and differences in these poems. They each have their own meaning, each represent a separate thing and each tell a different story. However, they are all indicative of Frost?s love of the outdoors, his true enjoyment of nature and his wistfulness at growing old. He seems to look back at youth with a sad longing. Each of these three poems are alike in that they are all about woods and outdoors or an item in the woods. The word "wood" or "woods" is used in each of these poems, at least once. It is used to represent both literally the tree or trees, and figuratively, they represent a journey to peace, a climb to "heaven". In "The Road Not Taken", the "wood" is merely the setting. It is described as a "yellow wood". This is obviously fall. I can see the orange, yellow and red leaves, lying all around. The gray/brown bark of the trees where the leaves are already fallen. The bright plumes where they have not. The trees also hide the road as it passes from sight around the bend. This symbolizes the uncertainty of the future. You can look ahead, but there is no way to know what is around the next bend. "Birches" is seems to be entirely about woods and trees. As the name implies, this is the main focus though the story. They are shown as an opponent for a boy that, once beaten, though very resilient, will never rise again. He describes them as being laden down with the results of an ice storm, but that he would like to think of them as being bent over by this boy. His use of the ice storm and the boy seems to represent his wistfulness at growing old and his desire to be young again. This was written when he was about 45. About the time that he would have a mid-life crisis. He can see that he is no longer the young man that once he was, not able to climb the trees like he did nor able to play like that. He talks of when he was a "swinger of birches" and how he dreams of being one again. He knows that this is not a reality for him. Frost also uses the trees in this poem to represent a way to get away from the cares and trials of life on Earth. He talks of getting away and coming back to start over. Climbing "toward Heaven". He desires to be free from it all, but then he says that he is afraid that the fates might misunderstand and take him away to never return. This is like most of us today. We want to go to Heaven, but we don?t want to die to get there. In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", Frost describes a thick patch of woods that are a long way from anything. He does not go into great detail describing them, leaving that to the readers imagination. He merely describes them as "lovely, dark and deep". This lack of detail is to help us focus not so much on all the things that are there, as the things that aren?t. He mentions that the horse must be thinking that this is strange to stop here, with no barn near. The only thing that is nearby is nature. The lake is frozen, the trees and ground are covered with snow. During a snowstorm, sound does not travel very well. It is very muddled and muted. The only sounds that are mentioned in the poem are the bells on the horse?s harness and the wind. So, the rider is stopping to smell the roses. He is taking a break from the world around him, watching these woods fill with snow. Then, he remembers his cares and is off, with miles and miles to go. While there are