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Analysis and comments on The Lockless Door by Robert Frost

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Comment 76 of 256, added on March 31st, 2009 at 12:30 AM.

This poem illustrates a human condition often expressed by provincialism,
namely, an unnatural fear of new ideas originating from an unknown source.
Its more potent form is bigotry and intolerance. The mind has a door that
can only be opened from inside, yet cannot be locked from the inevitable
experience called life. Eventually a liberating thought will come
'knocking' but, imagined as terrible, or too drastic a paradigm shift, the
positive change it could bring if welcomed inside is resisted by resorting
to closing ones eyes ('turning out the lights'), ignoring the issue ('tip
toeing the floor'), or fighting scientific, reasoned facts, with religion
('raising hands in prayer to the door'). One is out of their mind to react
in such a fashion, hence, climbing outside, and then expecting the visitor
to open the door. The result? Paralyzed by this conduct, the only change
to that person, who hides in the world, is getting older, not better.
Ideas simply pass them by. And what is man who doesn’t use reason? a
mere beast, no more.

C Greenwood from United States
Comment 75 of 256, added on February 10th, 2009 at 4:45 PM.

I think that this poem talks about death. I think that death is knocking on
the coor but the man does not want to die so he uns from it.

kim from United States
Comment 74 of 256, added on January 23rd, 2009 at 2:14 PM.

I think the poem is about "Opportunity" knowcking. We may spend our life
waiting for it, but when it finally "knocks" we are hesitant to take the
chance and go with it. We "Pray" it is everything we hoped it might be. In
the end, the person does invite opportunity in...even if it is from a
distance (from outside the window). He deceides to pack and leave his
comfort zone and head out into the world and sieze the opportunity even if
it takes the rest of his life to see it through (alter with age). :)

Barbara Bell from United States
Comment 73 of 256, added on February 28th, 2008 at 10:18 AM.

i like it cuz it rhymes

george from United States
Comment 72 of 256, added on January 25th, 2008 at 4:06 AM.

The most striking line of the poem is "hide in the world," and it comes in
the context of a knock from an unknown guest. I guess that Frost is writing
about the relation between our inner and outer lives. He was hiding in
himself at first (his house), but was called out, and yet is still hiding.
Self-knowledge remains elusive whether we dwell in ourselves or in the
wider world.

Jon from China
Comment 71 of 256, added on December 10th, 2007 at 9:07 AM.

does anyone else think this poem is an extended metaphor for death?? death
cannot be locked out of life, hence, the lockless door. if you look at the
language at the end of the poem it can be seen as going into the ground as
well all do when we die. The poem also starts out, it went many years,
meaning he was old and his time was up. He blew out the light...the light
symbolizes life? Let me know if this works for anyone else besides myself.

ashley
Comment 70 of 256, added on March 14th, 2007 at 10:36 AM.

this poem is filled with beautiful eye tear jerking stanzas it reminds me
of my depressing life.

lol from United States
Comment 69 of 256, added on January 24th, 2007 at 9:29 AM.

i like the poem

matthew from United States
Comment 68 of 256, added on April 5th, 2006 at 12:17 PM.

The lines in this poem that I keep rereading are in the last quatrain: "To
hide in the world/And alter with age." This passage seems existantial to
me: "hide in the world" gives a sense of anxiety and alienation, and
simultaniously "alter with age" shows an explicit consciousness of
existance. If I had just seen this one line, I might have thought it was
Ralph Ellison and not Frost.

The speaker knows he must open the door and face whatever is behind it, but
yet he seems resigned to be broken by it... to still exist, but not to
thrive. I can see where some read depression out of this, but the word
choice makes me disagree: "alter" is a very sterile word, unlike the
descriptive prose of the first stanzas; he's not "flourishing" with age or
"whithering" with age, but rather age is simply changing him, almost
mechanically.

My impression upon first reading this poem was that he was talking about
growing up and leaving a carefree childhood for, but that also don't seem
quite right to me. (Nor does it fit in with Frost's norm. I realize and
agree that it is a fallacy to analyze one idependant work in the context of
others or the author's life. But I just did, so sue me).

N from United States
Comment 67 of 256, added on April 4th, 2006 at 6:39 AM.

Jinn, i find your comments on the poem, especially about the first stanza,
to be very confusing... of course the poem was based in the past, or at
least started in the past, as we can see by the first line "it went many
years"... you are trying to read what isn't there. You also assume that
frost is talking about himself - he may be talking about someone else in
the first-person for the sake of the poem. Again with your comments on the
second stanza, you try to read metaphorical senses into lines that just
aren't there - and even if blowing out the light is a metaphor, i highly
doubt it would be a metaphor for getting rid of the "good"... why would
that help anything?? Also your wording is very confusing, destroying what
little meaning you have rightly wrung out of the poem. I would also like to
meet the person for how jumping onto a sill requires no effort at all, and
i would also like to meet the person who makes all window sills the same
size (size small). In future, i suggest you do not try to think too hard
about poems, and just let your natural instinct take over when
commenting... also try not to confuse the issue by repeating the same
sentence three times.

Denholm & Mackie from Australia

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Information about The Lockless Door

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 44. The Lockless Door
Volume: New Hampshire
Year: 1923
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 30925 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 24 2002


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