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Analysis and comments on The Telephone by Robert Frost

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Comment 19 of 290, added on February 12th, 2012 at 6:48 AM.

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Pharmf151605 from United States
Comment 16 of 290, added on May 7th, 2010 at 8:57 AM.

This will go great with a poem paper im writing and im using this poem 'The

Jessie from United States
Comment 15 of 290, added on May 7th, 2010 at 8:57 AM.

This will go great with a poem paper im writing and im using this poem 'The

Jessie from United States
Comment 14 of 290, added on September 23rd, 2008 at 7:34 AM.

To me, the poet walks "as far as I could walk," because he is infirm: he
makes it only as far as the "windowsill," when his mind and his heart
travel on. The flower and the bee, despite any sexual connotations,
symbolize his ethereal interaction with nature and a transcendental
"oneness." He longs to join one who has gone on before him, yet, who is
paradoxically omnipresent. His faith in a "prime mover" soothes his angst,
and, whether or not he proceeds directly following this interlude, he
trusts that he will be reunited with his soul mate in buzzing meadows where
the power of love dwarfing modern man's sophistication. This epiphany is
not his first on earth although it may be his last. The simplistic banter
here hypnotically attracts the reader as the flower attracts the bee.
Truly the magic here is not to see, but to feel.

Sandra Kishi from United States
Comment 13 of 290, added on September 22nd, 2008 at 2:28 PM.

A way toward an interpretation of Frost’s 1916 poem begins by considering
it apart from its title. Someone walks away from one place to another as
far as possible and encounters a time when all is quiet and open to nature.
The person leans against a flower and hears the voice of a second person,
someone known. The ensuing conversation, “ Do you remember what it was you
said?” and the second person’s reply, “First tell me what it was you
thought you heard,” takes place after they have been reunited. The first
person recounts hearing from a flower the second person calling “me by my
name” or perhaps, “Come.” The second person concedes the thought but not
its expression out loud. “Well,” that is, in any case, the first person

Read without its title, the poem seems a lover’s cri de coeur for the
return of the desired person. This changes, however, when the title is
imposed upon the words. Framed by the title, the flower becomes a
telephone, a device named from the Greek for far (tele-) and voice
(-phone). It is a “far voice,” a “voice from afar,” a voice that goes far
and arrives from far away. Thus the reader knows why the first person
walked “ as far as I could walk” and why a moment most unnatural occurs: a
flower talks, and a wire speaks. But Frost lets his reader go farther to
ascertain what kind of telephone. “I leaned my head,/and holding by the
stalk.” Imagine a daffodil, a stiff green stalk with a trumpet-like head
open to the air and the bees swarming about the first pollen of the budding
summer. Frost has in mind a candlestick phone, the kind that mounts a
receiver atop a pedestal and has a candelabra-type cradle for the receiver.
Craig Sheffer playing Norman McLean speaks to his future wife through one
in A River Runs Through It. Early models were built into heavy boxes which
entailed leaning over to speak into them. But the image is more than
visual. The flower attracts the bee—the person must drive (a stronger
action than shooing) it away—to itself for pollination and the production
of fruit and another generation. The telephone attracted visitors and
through its productivity, changed life in ways apparent from the outset.
There is another frame. For this, the reader must know the first thing
said on a telephone. It may have been common knowledge in 1916. For Frost’s
poem to be understood as more than encoded history for the antiquarian,
general readers had to know: “Mr Watson—Come here—I want to see you.”
Hence, the first person hears something, and refusing to be denied,
counters the objection that all the world would mount against hearing a
voice from a flower, that is, a contraption: “Don’t say I didn’t, for I
heard you say.” We can imagine in these words the shock of Thomas Watson,
Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant and engineer, when the “thing” worked. No
less astounded is Bell himself. In fact, Frost implies, he does not accept
it, believing that the transmission occurred in the longings of his
imagination. “I may have thought as much.”
Bell and Watson were testing a competitor’s machine when the famous moment
struck. The more satisfying account, fictionalized in the endearing 1939
biography, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, has Henry Fonda’s Watson
receive the message via the prototype of Bell himself, played by Don

Wm. Blake Tyrrell from United States
Comment 12 of 290, added on August 4th, 2008 at 11:03 PM.

I was with my closest friend on an aeroplane once, and we got separate
seats due to high season when we went back to indonesia from holand
. I fell
asleep, and I swore I heard her voice call my name, and I woke up because
of it. It turned out that one of the flight attendants was serving our
dinner, and she was only two seats away from mine. I haven't eaten for the

whole day, and the meal they served was the first after 28 hours I had.
When I asked her, she said that she was thinking about my condition at that

exact same time.

albert from Indonesia
Comment 11 of 290, added on April 2nd, 2008 at 5:56 AM.

This poem is about a husband and wife who had an argument. We can see that
the man is angry and he walks off. His wife misses him and wants him to
come back. He misses her also and he imagines her telling him to come back
through a flower he sees. The flower reminds him of her. The wife was
actually thinking of him coming back when she was near a flower. This shows
the really close bond that the couple had and there ability to know what
the other is thinking even if they are miles apart.

Adriana from Australia

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Information about The Telephone

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 7. The Telephone
Volume: Mountain Interval
Year: 1916
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 32131 times

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