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Analysis and comments on Spring Pools by Robert Frost

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Comment 4 of 344, added on August 12th, 2007 at 10:19 PM.

By my reading, “Spring Pools” is about the fleeting quality of spring, in
particular, pools that form in spring from melted snow. In this poem, the
pools and surrounding flowers are indicators of spring, and spring is
associated with pre-lapsarian Eden. That the pools “still reflect/The
total sky almost without defect” suggests that they exist as they were
originally created as a kind of reflection of heaven. But the Fall is
prefigured by pools and flowers that “chill and shiver” at the prospect
that they “will soon be gone,” and not by any glorifying flow of river, but
by the invidious absorption by unseen roots of “summer woods” with “dark
foliage” which will “darken nature” and “blot [them] out.” The poet warns
the woods (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) to “think twice before they use their
powers” because of the risk that they will become agents of the Fall of
nature (from perfect spring, to declining summer, autumn and winter). The
decision to absorb the pools amounts to an “original sin” which commences a
Fall that will end in winter.

My reading is supported by a reading of Frost’s earlier poem, “Nothing Gold
Can Stay.” That poem identifies the color gold as “Nature’s first green,”
and associates the fading of gold and subsequent development of leaves with
“Eden [sinking] to grief.”

The fleeting quality of all sorts of values, including, among others,
spring, youth and beauty, is a common theme of poets from Shakespeare to
Housman and Frost.


Chris Wrenn from United States
Comment 3 of 344, added on April 4th, 2007 at 4:20 PM.

I like Alison's close reading of the poem and her understanding of the
words that are written. From there one might think of other aspects, not in
place of but in addition to the clear meaning of what is described in the
poem. There appears to be an admonition about the use of power and also the
striking mirror-like image of dark foliage coming from watery flowers and
flowery waters. This suggests not just dominance but also dependence. It
seems to me that this poem reflects life in a profound way.

Jaimie Trautman from United States
Comment 2 of 344, added on April 29th, 2006 at 11:10 AM.

Hm. I think this poem really is about pools and flowers and trees, not
people. I think Frost is longing for just a posteponement of spring, to
enjoy the beauty of the last days of winter. He knows that nature doesn't
stop, so he just asks that it "thinks twice."
It's unusual because most poets glorify the coming of spring. But Frost
says, no, the spring is noisy and dark and lush, and the winter flowers are
simple and still and clear.

Allison from Canada
Comment 1 of 344, added on April 11th, 2006 at 3:14 PM.

Now a hot topic in biology, Frost uses the pools to remind adults (summer
trees) that in the children (the pools) they can see the reflection of
heaven (the sky).

Ray from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about Spring Pools

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 1. Spring Pools
Volume: West-Running Brook
Year: 1928
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 29880 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 19 2000


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