Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
October 4th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 298,706 comments.
Analysis and comments on The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11]

Comment 9 of 109, added on May 2nd, 2010 at 5:05 PM.
frost si great poet. his poems have a mystical dimension which is so genially sugested. they are often located somewhere between two spaces, txo dimensions, two worlds. his poems often trace a movement trensposing us from one unisverse to another

i think that this poem completes the way Frost apprehends nature, that is
as a motherly figure. indeed, the mother gives affection (which is what
Frost demonstates in some poems such as 'Birches' where the child is
learning love and deriving joy from his symbiosis with the natural world);
the mother feeds (which is what Frost shows us in 'After Apple picking'
where he harvests "ten thousand thousand" apples); but the mother also
educates, teaches lessons about life. and, this is exactly that role frost
is illustrating in 'ThE Wood-pile': nature is teaching the speaker a lesson
about life, a lesson with a main truth which is mortality. the speaker is
sad, bitter, confused in this poem, even though he is in a familiar setting
(which is nature) but yet this does not come as a contradiction to Frost's
other poems but rather as a complement to its overall picture of a motherly
figure. the greyness of the poem's atmosphere is due to the fact that the
speaker, in this specific episode, is learning an absolute truth from the
natural world: the trurh of mortality.
sly - Tunisia

Comment 8 of 109, added on March 25th, 2010 at 8:33 PM.

I recently learned about this poem in an American Literature course.

I agree with the comment about the title being neatly-split. It is
basically about our need for order and structure in our world. Nature
cannot provide this order to our lives, we can only feel oriented among
human structures. In the woods, the narrator is lost wandering among the
trees that all look the same - there are no landmarks, except that he knows
he is far from home (a human structure). There is an order to the nature
that surrounds him (the trees “straight up and down”) and yet he is utterly
confused by and lost in it. Even the bird, a sign of life amongst the
stillness, is alienating. And then the narrator comes across the
wood-pile. It is very well-made, but old and decaying, and about to fall
apart. Long after the creator of the pile has left, his work still
remains, but yet that is also only temporary. In the context of nature and
the world around us, our work and our lives are only temporary.
The narrator imagines that only someone who enjoyed ordering the world
around him could have spent so much effort in creating something without
any practical use - the pile is far from any fireplace and is left to
merely decay back into the earth where it came from. Thus, to put it more
clearly, the narrator imagines the man who created the pile had done so
just for the sake of it, to create something familiar in the unfamiliarity
of the bleak woods around him. Nature no longer speaks to us. The meaning
in the world around him is lost, but what remains and what orients us is
This idea of structure left behind when meaning is lost is very prevalent
amongst Modernist literature, including Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons",
Wallace Stevens' "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", and the art of
the time including the Cubism of Pablo Picasso. As much as we like to
think of Frost as a folksy American poet, his insight and ideas were
actually quite current to his time, even though he held on to traditional
subjects and form.

Victoria from United States
Comment 7 of 109, added on January 9th, 2009 at 5:51 AM.

thanks so much for ur analysis spike! its really detailed and i was
wondering if there was more analysis of the same quality and detailedness u
could provide?

Bader from United Arab Emirates
Comment 6 of 109, added on January 7th, 2009 at 9:38 PM.

I believe the most obvious message of this poem to be that of wasting the
nature around us. The man or narrator of the the novel comes across a pile
of the oldest, tallest maple wood that he has ever seen as sees it wasting
away, a pile of decaying wood. He emphasizes the fact that the decay is
smokeless, because the person who cut down the wood originally has not used
it as firewood, and is simply letting it decay. I believe the underlying
message of Frost's poem to be about death, like several other of his works
(Come in, Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening etc). The atmosphere
developed by words such as the "frozen swamp" and the gray create a morbid
atmosphere. Frost decides to go on farther and thus experiences his death.
I found the part about the bird to be interesting. I think the bird to be a
spirit that perhaps Frost has known from his previous life, a friend who
has passed away and Frost in his busy life, was distracted and forgot the
death of this friend or family member. The color white, the color of the
bird's feather, also symbolizes a spirit (white often used). Frost moves
further along into his experience of death, and reaches the point of decay
(represented by the pile of wood). The word smokeless at the end of the
poem could also be interpreted as without fire, is a symbol of man (if you
know your Greek mythology). Frost once again creates two messages through
his poems concering nature and death, and again executes it brilliantly. I
have posted this mini commentary to help others who are looking for
interpretations of Frost's literature, because i figured i should return
the favor.

Thnx for reading,


Spike Johnson from Canada
Comment 5 of 109, added on December 14th, 2007 at 8:10 AM.

i apologise for the spelling mistakes below ! ! !

emmmm . . . thanx 4 readin ! ! !

frost = ginger genius

Hellianna from Ireland
Comment 4 of 109, added on December 13th, 2007 at 9:57 AM.

I think Robert Lee Frost is an under rathed genius ! ! ! each of his many
poems suck ass (in a good way) and explore the intensity nof nature and
death through isolation and lonliness ! ! !we should be praising Frost
instead of rejecting him ! ! ! what give you the right to criticise sum1
with such talent ? ? ?

Robert Frost shows throgh this poem how man de-appreciates nature. he
illustrates through harsh imagery and language how man, forgets and takes
advantage of nature by just simpley leaving a pile off wood untouched.
Frost wonders y such a thing can be left alone not being usedd but
obvioulsy needed.

this also shows the carelessness of man's attitude towards nature as he has
cut down tree/s in his selfishness as he thought he needed it for fire, but
obviously realised he didn't and left it lying there, forgot about it.
this also emphasises man's greed.

the bird represents the love that Frost had for each of his dying relatives
he lost. he writes that the bird was there, then he went away, even forgot
about. this hows me the reader how Frost himself doesnt feel he paid as
much attention as he shoyld have to those before he died. it sahows his
deep regret and how he tried to forget in the long run, but failed,
cou7ldn't hence why we are reading this poem.

the bird also represents how man and nature and work along side each other,
if not thinking of carelessy, can be at one . . .

Here, Do U Love It ? ? ?

Hellianna from Ireland
Comment 3 of 109, added on September 3rd, 2007 at 2:33 PM.

Frost had to have stumbled upon this piece of 'handiwork' himself while
exploring. I wonder what's there now? A parking lot? Football stadium? High

Comment 2 of 109, added on September 2nd, 2007 at 7:35 PM.

Even the word is neatly split by Frost.
This poem speaks to the integrity of work. A tribute to a man's hands,
skill with an axe, physical strength and so on.
The speaker calls the wood-pile "handiwork". That's what it is . Art
without utility though its original intent was utilitarian the wood-pile
now stands as art.

The poem ends with some darker images - 'burning of decay.'. the speakers
seems unexplainably annoyed with the little bird that joins him.

Greg from Canada
Comment 1 of 109, added on November 26th, 2004 at 5:52 AM.

This poem is alright and at the moment im doing a presentation on it for my
english literature class. There is no analysis on the net for it-how

Stephanie Smith from United Kingdom

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11]
Share |

Information about The Wood-Pile

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 5. The Wood-Pile
Volume: North of Boston
Year: 1914
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 19975 times

Add Comment

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.

Do not post questions, pleas for homework help or anything of the sort, as these types of comments will be removed. The proper place for questions is the poetry forum.

Please note that after you post a comment, it can take up to an hour before it is visible on the website! Rest assured that your comment is not lost, so don't enter your comment again.

Comment on: 5. The Wood-Pile
By: Robert Frost

Name: (required)
E-mail Address: (required)
Show E-mail Address:
Yes No
Poem Comments:

Poem Info

Frost Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links