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Analysis and comments on Design by Robert Frost

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Comment 32 of 152, added on September 15th, 2010 at 10:13 PM.

Frost illustrates in this poem a series of what appear to be rare
coincidences: a heal-all that, while usually is a violet-blue, is white; a
small white spider that is for some unknown reason, residing on said
heal-all; a moth that happened to fly by the spider on the flower. He then
asks whether there is any way this could be without some form of greater
design. Did God design for a small white spider to cross a rare white
flower and climb it on the very night that moth happened to fly by? Then he
brings up another thought, Would a higher Design worry about the small
details, such as how that spider got its meal that night? These two
questions consider two points of veiw on the matter of Predestination, not
creationism. For those who are not aware, Predestination means that
everything in our life is already been decided and we are already fated the
path before us. on the one hand, how could the small unprobable
coincidences happen without some sort of higher design. On the other why
would a greater design worry about such details?

Lex from United States
Comment 31 of 152, added on January 15th, 2010 at 1:23 PM.
loved it

I think the tone of the poem is absolutely the point of doubt and the poet
wants us to doubt the same thing he doubts


negar hesari from Iran
Comment 30 of 152, added on December 2nd, 2009 at 5:25 PM.
Design

The whole point of this poem is to make the reader wonder about what
initially may seem like design in nature. Frost doesn't necessarily come
down one way or the other. Frost was well-read on Darwinism, and in many of
his writings he ponders what the fact of evolution would mean for humanity
and our ideas about purpose and design.
Of note is that Stephen Jay Gould (famous American paleontologist) quoted
this poem in his keynote presentation at the Skeptics Society Gould
Festschrift, when talking about the lack of design in nature.

Justin Wagner from Canada
Comment 29 of 152, added on November 15th, 2009 at 10:44 PM.
Frost's "Design"

The piece is a commentary on "design" arguments for the existence of God.
The argument proceeds simply as follows: Nature reveals a design so precise
that a designer of that nature must exist, i.e., God. The poem's response:
one being's design for good is another's design for evil. What works for
the spider is a disaster for the moth...thus, the "God" that is argued for
depends on t e perspective, whether the design enhances or collapses life.

Keith from United States
Comment 28 of 152, added on November 4th, 2009 at 4:54 AM.

i am an iranian sophomore english student and i have to give a lecture on
this poem.i am really confused cos i cant understan it completely.


mohammad from Iran
Comment 27 of 152, added on September 28th, 2009 at 1:29 AM.

i think this poem is great! It makes one think of the 'design' of life and
death. Maybe death is actually perfect its own way..

Adam from United States
Comment 26 of 152, added on September 21st, 2009 at 2:28 PM.

I think that the line "a snow drop spider, a flower like a froth,'shows the
spider to be something unsubstantial and trivial. The spider, I think
represents god as a being not needed and debatable; either the deciaions he
is said to make or whether he exists or not.

Emmanuelle from Ireland
Comment 25 of 152, added on April 30th, 2009 at 10:21 PM.

What it seems that everyone is not thinking of is Frost's question about
the existence of God, which the poem is truely about. There is the first
question on whether there is a God or higher being at all and then the
question that if there is, how does he plan such small insignificant things
out (such as bugs). The ambiguity comes into play with the way Frost
answers the question. Frost shows strong belief that there is a God
throughout the poem. Yet, Frost also shows that there could be no God and
that creatures have free will.

I have to say that I didn't like the poem the first time I read it, but as
I began to analyze it, I was truely astounded by this poem and I now find
myself constantly thinking about it. I have began to wonder about such
things myself, which shows that the poem is great, because the author's
purpose is to make you think about the theme they bring about in their
poem.

I would definitely recommend this poem to anyone.

Pickle from United States
Comment 24 of 152, added on February 27th, 2009 at 8:02 AM.

The problem with all of your assumptions is that the poem is not about
innocence, this is poem is an ironic piece because he uses the differences
between a heal all and death. The person looking at the spider is confused
and does not understand how it got there. The last four lines of this
hybrid sonnet are questions that do not have answers.(aka rhetorical
questions)

Jeff from United States
Comment 23 of 152, added on May 22nd, 2008 at 7:56 AM.

I think this poem is really interesting...you all seem to have really good
points, especially you, chua hsieh wen. :) good job! :) :) :)

Sarah Park from United States

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Information about Design

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: Design
Volume: A Further Range
Year: 1936
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1412 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 14 2006


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