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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
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  • Michael Varner (6/15/2010 7:13:00 PM)

    Some people believe Robert Frost's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' is about a person stopping to enjoy nature. However, I do not believe this is the case. We are told that it is, 'The darkest evening of the year.' This might mean that it is the winter solstice or it is literally the darkest night so far this year. In the title of the poem, Frost tells us that it is a snowy evening. We are also told that it is windy and that the snow is deep in the woods. Next, Frost describes a frozen lake. Therefore, I do not believe this person has stopped to enjoy the view of the woods on a windy, snowy, cold, and dark evening. I believe Frost's poem is about a person stopping to answer the call of nature (crap) . The person is clearly in a hurry to arrive at his next destination because he has made some unknown promise that must be kept and apparently, the person has not slept in a while. I believe there is no other logical reason for this person to have stopped. My belief is further supported by Frost's description of the person being familiar enough with the area that the person thinks he or she knows who the owner of the woods is. The horse is confused by the sudden stop far from any farmhouse. The person perceives the woods as a place of privacy to take relief because the woods are 'lovely, dark and deep'. The person is afraid to leave the horse because it might leave on its own. The horse has a harness that leads me to believe that it is pulling a wagon. The person cannot take the horse over to the woods because the wagon might become stuck in the deep snow. In conclusion, I believe that the person is nearing home but is too far away and can no longer wait to crap. The person is hoping, 'He will not see me stopping here'.

    2 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Hans Vr (5/30/2010 4:58:00 AM)

    I am a bit perplexed how deep (and strange) the meanings sought in this wonderfully simple poem Some of you see death, sex and so on.

    I just think that only persons with a poet's soul would stop on a snowy evening at the woods to indulge in the beauty of it all. I think I have had experienced similar magical moments of amazing beauty, when the soul comes really to the surface to just to enjoy and it is perhaps such a moment that Robert wants to share. If these moments occur, you indeed ask yourself why not everybody else is coming to see this, but you typically have these moments all alone. The magic of that beautiful moment is somehow a bit disturbed by the horse that clearly does not share the sense of beauty. He resists for a while and tries to incorporate the horse's impatience in the beauty of the scene but finally the reasoning mind wins over the soul's deep desire to savour more of these amazingly beautiful sights, sounds and smells of falling snow in the woods and he moves on giving in to the reasoning mind, the reasoning mind.

    Don't let your reasoning mind analyse the beauty of this poem finidng extremely deep meanings that are not there. Just let your soul drift in your imagination to the snowy woods and enjoy and relive in the moste poetic way, together with the poet these magical moments.

  • Jasmine Mahanloo (5/30/2010 3:41:00 AM)

    I don't really read poetry, but a line from this came to mind as I was brushing my teeth. I thought I'd see how the rest of the poem goes. So here's my attempt at interpretation.

    I think this poem is about entering ones private world which often does work as a temptation. In the first paragraph Frost sets this up in the absence of the owner of the woods. Yet it is not only that he is absence but that fact that the traveler is aware of it. Privacy is not only ones aloneness, but is the absence of another.

    This is continued in the next paragraph where the horse wonders at what his owner is doing. One other aspect of being alone is not being understood-to be alone in ones own mind whether this results from the lack of connection with another human or an animal.

    The last paragraph is the resistance to temptation of entering one's own world even though it has many beauties. The promises to keep are not necessarily only those to others, but to oneself. The fulfillment of promises, of life, entails action, so he resists as he has 'miles to go' before he sleeps.

  • Jyoti Bartaula Acharya (4/26/2010 6:42:00 AM)

    Dear all participants and scholars
    I am very much pleased on knowing diverse opinion and literary appreciation made up on Robert frost’s poem: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Generally, this discussion forum I found to be very good from critical perspective. My analysis is in two perspectives; one on its structure and another on its interpretation in terms of construing the subtleties: beauty of snowfall or contemplation of death of character, as under:
    My first argument is the oddity about the poem, which is its almost rhythmic chant. The rhyme scheme follows the pattern A, A, B, A (exception in last stanza) coupled with the meter, iambic tetrameter, that give the reader a sense of labored marching. This technique is odd when considered by itself. However, when it is put with other underlying subtleties, it becomes clear that Frost’s poem is not about the beauty of a snowfall, it is about the main character’s contemplation of death.
    Imagery is perhaps the second most notable element that gives credence to the subtext of death within Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. When first reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, the line, “The darkest evening of the year, ” fits well into the description of snowy evening; the stark contrast of the black night with the white snow. In spite of this, when one looks at the poem in terms of the central character’s death, the line takes on a whole new meaning. For example, for the traveling man, this night is the darkest of his life.

  • Grissell M (3/30/2010 12:30:00 PM)

    As Hira Ali said, 'sleep' in the last line means death... Though this world has a lot of beauties which seduces us; all of us has a great duty in this world, to reach the sublim... the horse mentioned remember this fact, we are passengers, we should go! ! ! ! !
    It really arouses my soul

  • Rachael Potts (3/11/2010 7:51:00 PM)

    this first couple times i read this poem i thought of the words and robert frost to me used alot of symbolism. that what he wrote to me compares temptation. and that the poem is talking about how he wants something a woman maybe and he's tempted by but cant bring himself to pursue what he wants and maybe he made a promise that he cant yet fulfill and he has a many things he has to do in order to keep his promise.

  • Sujit Sinha (3/7/2010 7:30:00 AM)

    Thanks Gracie Rossi. I appreciate your comments. Yes, the poet indeed finds the wood lovely. He does yearn for it, no matter it is dark and wintery. May be he loves the snow too. A man's horse sense would of course not allow him to waste time in such a place. I would be overating sexuality if I agreed with Tori Thompson.

  • Tori Thompson (3/1/2010 8:07:00 PM)

    I took this poem at first read to be an allusion to the contemplation of infidelity. Women can be thought of as trees: from us come alternately warmth and shade, fresh air and smoke. Passing by another man's real estate a ways away from his main place of residence could be tantamount to meeting another man's wife/woman when that man lives on the other side of town, or is out of town. His 'little horse' in want of a farmhouse could be his penis, if the author is a married/taken man himself, or his conscience, as our conscience carries us to wear we ought to go. The shaking of the bells, a crass sound compared to wind through trees and over snow drifts, could be the juxtaposition of right with temptation. After a momentary debate, the author sticks to his 'promises' and does not give in to the temptation of admiring the 'lovely, dark, and deep' woods. Sleep could be death. So the author vows to resist temptation for the duration of his marriage/relationship, till death they part.

  • Akanksha Wadhavkar (2/1/2010 9:05:00 AM)

    I like poems made by Robert Frost a lot.There is some kind of emotion hidden behind every poem created by him.He was really a precious poet in the world.

  • Gracie Rossi (1/6/2010 2:43:00 PM)

    The wood, to me, represents that sacred silence and peace harboured in your soul that is untainted by life and reality. The place where you long to take heed, indulge and wonder but proves too achingly difficult because the duties of life soon jolts your horse! There is no way one could remain forever in the depth and loveliness the wood provides because simply, life is too cruel. However poetry, music and art stand to remind you that the wood does exist, and is available for you when you allow yourself a respite from harsh reality...and perhaps that is enough :) thank you Mr Frost.

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