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Analysis and comments on Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

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Comment 87 of 587, added on September 21st, 2005 at 1:16 PM.

About 40 years ago, my 7th grade English teacher made us memorize a bunch
of poems, including this one. I find it amazing that I can still recite
every one of them. What a great gift that teacher gave us! I also
remember that this one was very easy to learn because the rhymes follow a
pattern AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD (i.e., Here-Queer, Lake-Shake, Sweep-Deep).
In the years that followed, I have often pondered the poem's deeper
meanings. Like Bible verses, meanings often evolve a bit as the reader
grows older. In 7th grade, I thought it was just a nice story about a guy
and his horse stopping by a woods. Only the last line had a deeper meaning
for me... that he had a lot of stuff to do before he died. I think it's a
mark of great poem when children and adults can both get something out of
it. Sort of like baseball... it can be enjoyed on many levels, from
tee-ball to high school to the big leagues.

Mark Otterson from United States
Comment 86 of 587, added on September 18th, 2005 at 8:41 AM.

This is about a dude goin in the woods

Jennie from Austria
Comment 85 of 587, added on September 15th, 2005 at 4:39 PM.

To me this poem talks about in the first stanza about a guy on a journey.
and on this journey he is determined to accomplish the journey.

In the second stanze I interpreted that maybe the guy and his horse didn't
quite understand why they were going on this particular journey.

In the 3rd stanza it is clear that both the guy and the horse do not
understand and would like an answer.

And finally in the 4th stanza i interpreted that on his journey he would
love to stop in the woods he is in but he has a purpose to fulfill before
he can rest again.


Jimbob from New Zealand
Comment 84 of 587, added on September 15th, 2005 at 5:25 AM.

This poem is a poem of theism.we find the god, soul, a bit escapism but
just consciousness again.work, responsibilities,promisses to all our kiths
and kins,things we do though we r not interested.
horse is taking the poet in the journey,so it is our soul and we all are
represented by poet himself."whose woods" must be of god himself,but the
poet is not sure of it.the horse an animal has to make him conscious by
giving harness a shake. the last lines, really a commitment to live a
life,. very symbolic too,like evening time, snow,woods dark and deep still
lovely,but no sequence in vocabulary.any way a superb piece of frost.

ishwor kadel from Nepal
Comment 83 of 587, added on September 12th, 2005 at 2:37 PM.

well,i read this poem when i was in 9th class,it was in our english book. i
am really impressed by this poem..the last stanza contains the whole
message.its my all time favourite poem. i have miles to go before i
sleep...

speedytan from Pakistan
Comment 82 of 587, added on September 12th, 2005 at 9:45 AM.

What do I see when I read this poem. I see a man on a mission, maybe some
weighty responsibility, definitely on a journey. Itís interesting that what
really drew him was the complete aloneness he felt in the woods. The
absolute privacy. Yet he had a sense of trespassing ... "He will not see me
stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow". It was a stolen
moment; a moment he might never just get an opportunity to enjoy again on
his journey through life. For a moment, he could forget about his
responsibilities, about his commitments, about the World.
But reality soon sets in. And the weight of what he still has to accomplish
comes back to him, and he has to make a choice. To stay, or to go.
I find that I agree with those who think the choice is between life and
death, in a sense. Something about the woods would have taken the weight of
his obligations off him, but he chooses to live, and to continue on his
journey through life.
After all said and done, itís a beautiful piece. Simply beautiful


David from South Africa
Comment 81 of 587, added on September 8th, 2005 at 10:08 AM.

When I first read this poem - that is now my favorite -
as many others, I thought about willingness to death.. then I read it
again, and I couldn't see why I had thought of that... the point is, now,
for me it's so clear that the subject of this poem is an affair...

'Whose woods are these I think I know'
it's clear... and it's also confirmed in the analysis of the rhythm...

in the first 3 stanzas, there is a different sound in the rhyme... in my
opinion, this is a clue to understand the poem... Since, in my point of
view, it's about an affair, the poem itself doesn't tell us if the couple
will be together in the end... but the rhythm does... In the last stanza,
there is only 1 rhyme, that can mean 'there is nobody in between them now,
they'll be together'.


Monna from Brazil
Comment 80 of 587, added on September 6th, 2005 at 7:05 AM.

I love this poem, but sadly I think that a lot of people here may be
misinterpreting it. I believe that this poem is similar in it's use of
metaphors to "The Road Not Taken", but to understand this we must look at
the poem.

"...the darkest evening of the year"

This line (to me, at least) implies that the subject is experiencing harsh
times and difficulty. His "little horse must think it queer" that he is
stopping to watch someone else's woods fill up with snow, though he is
obviously captivated. The snow and the "dark and deep" woods can be read as
metaphors for withdrawal, passivity or death. If one considers that the
subject is contemplating staying the woods (ie giving up on life) or
pressing on to his carry out his responsibilities in life, a deeper meaning
is found.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

This last stanza speaks of determination and a willingness to continue.
"Sleep" can be literally interpreted as death, and the "miles to go" and
"promises to keep" both have literal meanings. The subject is choosing to
continue his metaphorical journey through life, rather than withdrawing
into passivity, as I stated before.

Samantha Lo Monaco from Australia
Comment 79 of 587, added on September 3rd, 2005 at 7:14 PM.

I imagine that the person that is 'stopping by the woods' is enjoying his
solitude and the lonliness of the woods. But his enjoyment is not quite
complete because of the horses that are restless at the stop. He is pulled
away from his reverie by his responsibilities, a very effective way for
Frost to illustrate the poignancy of the moment.

james troy from United States
Comment 78 of 587, added on August 27th, 2005 at 4:57 PM.

Many have commented on this particular poem. I realise that what I say may
not make a difference at all... in fact, I'd be suprised if anyone actual
reads this. But then, I am more writing to clear my own mind then to
actually affect anothers. So I'm going to ramble on for a minute, if you
don't mind.

My favorite part of this poem is how he thinks of the point of view of his
horse, who sees no need in being there. There is not benifit, nothing of
worth to thier situation. But the rider sees something different. He sees
something worth stopping for. So, quite literally, beauty is in the eye of
the beholder. Anyway, even though the beauty has caused him to pause, the
confusion of his horse calls him back to reality. Reminds him of what he
must do. Responsability and a promise of a better tomorrow calls him away
from his present joys. [/ramble]

Actually, I believe that there is no hidden meaning in this poem, that
there's no 'other circimstance' it was meant to represent. It is simply
beautiful. But it does make you think, doesn't it?

Kaili from United States

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Information about Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 24. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Volume: New Hampshire
Year: 1923
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 1377 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 26 2000


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