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Analysis and comments on The Rose Family by Robert Frost

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Comment 22 of 132, added on December 20th, 2008 at 2:16 PM.

To me this poem is saying, yes, yes, you're all beautiful, you're all
equal, as that is the politically correct thing to say and think, but the
truth is that a rose is somehow the superior being in the flower kingdom
and some people are "royal" - and yes, that thought may be being delivered
ironically or sarcastically; but it also could be coddling someone whom he
wants to reassure, like a jealous lover. I think it, again, may relate to
the theme of poetry itself and Frost watching how anything goes and it's
all so legit as poetry, but is it and did he really believe that? I doubt

Comment 21 of 132, added on December 20th, 2008 at 1:53 PM.

I think that it is examining the cliche of the word "rose" to represent
beauty, in addition to, like mentioned above, begging the question of
"what's in a name?". If, as time progresses, any old apple or even plum can
be defined as a "rose", then it is not a matter of apples and plums
becoming more beautiful, but rather the distortion of their perception. A
plum, could appear to a lover as a 'rose' if he is biased by the emotional
bond between himself and the plum. However, Frost is showing, whoever he
has written the poem about, that she is classically beautiful, in his eyes
and all others, and neither the apple-lover nor the plum-lover can deny
this. He states that the woman in question's beauty will always remain, in
comparison to the other women mentioned, of which he cynically questions
"What will next prove a rose". In this love poem, Frost questions our
perception of beauty through shrewd metaphor.

Jess from Canada
Comment 20 of 132, added on February 27th, 2008 at 1:45 PM.

Here's a quick analysis I wrote for my AP U.S. poetry class on this poem:

Early American poet Robert Frost was known for using simple diction for
complex themes and ironic thoughts. Although his poems were pithy and
concise in word choice, he often adhered to traditional metrics and verse
forms unlike most his contemporaries. In his poem "The Rose Family",
construction is consistent while thought structure is infused with quiet
In "The Rose Family", Frost uses literal examples to derive meaning from a
perhaps abstract thought. The poem contemplates the philosophical essence
of a rose logically by establishing truth that a rose is a rose and that it
always was one to begin with, inquisitively inducts that other fruits are
perhaps equal to roses, and deducts from both of these thoughts by stating
"You, of course, are a rose". His thoughts are strictly denotative to the
objects he describes, but to whom he refers to remains vague.
Purpose in "the Rose Family" is veiled and broadened by the poems
simplistic approach in style. Very little information about the speaker and
addressee can be derived from the poem thus concealing the purpose of the
occasion beyond the potential to either charm or sarcastically belittle.
Very little emotion is distinctive throughout the verse except a subtle
curiosity and satire. The poet turns the purpose of the poem after he
ironically contradicts his own logic. In the first two lines, he
establishes that a rose is and always was. The next six lines he questions
other's interpretation of a rose but then abruptly drops this logic to
establish a curious new truth to the meaning of a rose. The redundant rhyme
of the poem also adds a jeering, almost "king's jester" rhyme like rhythm.
These abrupt, forced changes in thought and taunting rhyme promote a
purpose to jest the poet's addressee.
The poem's significance is held by it's deceiving wit. The "safe" or even
cliché theme of roses prepares the reader for a verse on beauty and love,
but then goes on to undermine this mindset in the most subtle of ways.
Simple language and seemingly cheery subject matter obscure the satirical
nature of the poem.

Amanda from United States
Comment 19 of 132, added on June 21st, 2007 at 7:22 AM.

Robert Frost The Rose Family is twofold : a theory and practice. Whereas,
in theory, a rose will remain always a rose and never stands for something
else, practice brings a different story. In the figurative sense of the
term, rose connotes everything symbolizing beauty (apple, pear, plum and
you). I see that this is the implications make the most sense within that
poem. Additionally, the images employed in the poem are very concrete,
making us experience beauty revealed within The Rose Family vividly.
Moreover, beauty employed in the poem calls for our mental pictures, visual
images and physical sensations.

Hamid from Morocco
Comment 18 of 132, added on January 15th, 2007 at 4:24 PM.

this poem is sheerly about the overuse of anything in life and the
detracted meaning that results

marissa is wrong.

jackie from Canada
Comment 17 of 132, added on February 21st, 2006 at 8:57 PM.

I just felt like sharing what i learned from an american litterature
teacher, according to her, Frost was making fun of an articla that had just
been published about the rose being part of the same family as appples,
etc, ...
Anyway, i still love it, it sounds great, it makes me feel great,...

Julie from Belgium
Comment 16 of 132, added on February 3rd, 2006 at 10:32 AM.

This has been one of my favorite poems for years. Along with some of the
other comments when I read this poem, I felt that Frost was looking beyond
the simplicity of a rose. We all look at things differently, a parent
looks as their children as a precious gift, I (a teacher) sometimes feel
like they are children of the corn. Regardless within each of them or
within us, we have some beauty that not everyone get a chance to see. How
we see beauty in others is left to the eye of the beholder.

Eunise Silva from United States
Comment 15 of 132, added on January 18th, 2006 at 12:54 PM.

I think Frost is one, making fun of the fact we choose to label everything
and how the rose is slowly losing it's meaning because now everything is
referred to as a rose, but it's a direct love poem because as he finishes
the poem, he declares that she 'were always a rose' which means so much
more because she has originality. she was the original rose, the original
beauty and all the other roses aren't even close to her.

Jordan from Canada
Comment 14 of 132, added on December 13th, 2005 at 11:50 PM.

The point of the poem is to contrast the two ideas. The fact is, that the
apple, pear, plum, and rose all come from the same family, Roseceae. So
they are all roses, in a sense. But you aren't going to look at an apple
(or plum or pear) and say "what a pretty rose!". He's saying that people
should not confuse something with another thing that it bears a few
characteristics of, because it takes away meaning for the original thing.
If we all started calling the whole roseceae family "roses", the word
"rose" would lose all of its meaning and connotations of beauty and love.

Jana from United States
Comment 13 of 132, added on December 3rd, 2005 at 2:15 AM.

I agree with Travis. When I read this poem I was struck by how, as in so
many of his poems, Frost plays with the reader and is making a cynical
comnent that is not immediately obvious underneath all the sweet talk about
roses. Frost is talking about not only words losing their meaning
through overly liberal interpretations, but values, too. Everything goes,
who knows what's right, what's wrong, nothing is absolute. In a way he's
criticizing political correctness 70 years before his time.

Maxine Tsvaigrach from Israel

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Information about The Rose Family

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 3. The Rose Family
Volume: West-Running Brook
Year: 1928
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 35558 times
Poem of the Day: Dec 13 2013

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