Frost was the master of the light-hearted verse with the deep meaning. Here we have a lone rider, a quiet wood, and a somewhat anxious horse. If that were the whole of it, the reader might pull a small smile across his or her lips and turn the page. But Frost won't let us off that easy. The final line, writ once, is the source of the small smile. Writ twice, it is a haunting refrain. Why twice? , our reader asks. Certainly, it adds nothing to the meter of the verse. There is no rhyme scheme to conclude. So, why twice? Much like the neglected road of another work, Frost, I feel, is asking us to not ignore the totality of our lives. Stop, look down each road, enjoy the beauty of a winter wood for a few minutes before carrying on with the hurried pace of modern life. The woods are beautiful, and now I can move on.
I agree, a second rate versifier whose only skill was to elevate his mundane thoughts into mockable epics, aand amazingly his lack of skill is celebrated, which I suppose identifies his adepts' depth of thought
I love the emotion in-between the last two lines. It's like for the whole poem he's daydreaming about the beautiful dark abyss. Then he hears himself say miles to go before I sleep and it wakes him from his stupor. So he gives a big sigh as the soul-crushing depression hits him about his reality before he says the last line. That's the magic of repeating that last line. The mood is so much different between them.
I read this as about the desire of the man to disappear into the cold darkness of the woods and sleep forever. He has made promises that require much laborious time to fulfill and he just wants to end it in the forest belonging to a rich man who can afford to own such beauty and yet lives in the city. This darkest night of the year.
This is the first poem I memorized years ago. Recited it thousands of times. Everyone commenting breaks it down wrong. But take from it what you want like any art. It is what you want it to be.
The day is Dec 21st (the darkest evening of the year) the person is not riding on a horse they are being pulled by two horses hence comparison (my little horse). The person is a salesman that is normally in a hurry going past the woods, but stops this evening to enjoy the view (must think it queer to stop without a farm house near) the horses are used to stopping at farm houses. The little horse is the lead horse wearing the bells. They have more stops to make to keep promises and deliveries and miles to go that evening before they get back home.
Self taught troubadour.
I agree that this poem can be interpreted anyway that a person wants it. Poetry can have different meanings just depends on the reader, in my opinion. This poem is amazing and I, myself enjoy it. This is the way I would interpret this poem. What I believe Robert Frost was trying to tell us is even though there are obstacles or the time to give up is perfect, it not time to give up until you have achieved your dreams or goals in life. In Robert Frost’s second stanza of his poem he mentions a little pony probably was confused to why they stopped in the middle of the woods with no farmhouse near. In my thoughts, I thought of this little horse to be like one’s conscious. Thinking why are they stopping at a place where they are not destined to be or to go. In the poet’s third stanza, he also mentions that the horse shakes his bells to grab the attention of his master to see if stopping here was a mistake. The way I looked it as, is an individual’s conscious, is always on our back to do the right thing, to keep moving forward. Lastly, the last stanza of Robert Frost’s poem is describing how the woods is great but at the same dark and deep. Robert Frost tried to make it be that the woods or how I mentioned before, the thought of giving up seems as the most wonderful thing ever. Towards the end of the poem, he says, “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Meaning, the narrator will still keep moving forward and to accomplish dreams, goals, or desires for their life before they “rest.” Thank you for taking my interpretation for consideration.
I am obsessed with this poem, have read it hundreds of times; always seem to find a new leaf to turn over in Frosts' woods, this poem is profound; means to me, getting away from the machinery of routine; taking a breath, enjoy the reality of being a mortal organic being with limited time to exist....love this
I'm looking out at this moment into a lovely snowy woods, dark and deep, just before dawn. This poem came to mind; I know it by heart. As a Professor of English Literature, I have recited and discussed this poem dozens of times, yet it is still as beautiful and ambiguous as the first time I read it 55 years ago. For me, as for so many readers, it is both a perfect view of a lovely scene in nature AND, symbolically, part of my life's story. I am at this moment a thousand miles from home and a decade or two from the end of my life: The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep....