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Analysis and comments on Provide, Provide by Robert Frost

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Comment 10 of 90, added on May 29th, 2009 at 10:59 PM.

Readers might be interested in knowing that in his own reading of this poem
on a cassette tape I possess, he added a last line to this:

"Provide, provide,
or someone else will provide for you!

I kid you not.

Paul Sirotta from United States
Comment 9 of 90, added on November 17th, 2008 at 10:36 AM.

As Tony (Russia) rightly said, it's a matter of decision. Decision about
how to live your life. You have diverse choices, whether to live briefly
but fulfilled or live a long and a wasted life (stanza 3). One thing to
keep in mind is that life is a switch, things can be rosy now and in
another moment, see life turns around to be a nightmare. Like the Old woman
in stanza 1 - refered to as "a witch that came". She was once the beauty of
Hollywood (face of Hollywood) that once employed house helps but now she's
a househelp herself "To wash the steps with pail and rag" (Line 2 Stanza
1).

The last stanza concludes that it is better to die with dignity i.e dying
accomplished, with so many good things to your credit than die none at all.
Provide, Provide (The Choice is Yours).

Dimeji, M.A. from Nigeria
Comment 8 of 90, added on November 13th, 2008 at 1:13 PM.

here in iceland, we love this poem and the penguins in my backyard loved it
too!! cool huh!! no but really this was an excellent poem!!

Megan from Iceland
Comment 7 of 90, added on April 26th, 2006 at 12:42 PM.

This poem is addressing the futility of vain accomplishments, particularly
concerning a woman's fading beauty. The speaker calls for early
termination of life as a better fate than ending life in humiliation as a
"withered hag" washing steps. I can't totally decide if this is done in
sarcasm as a warning against vain aspirations or not. In many of Frosts
poems he is very unhappy with the world and generally doesn't express
advocation for eternal aspirations ("Stopping by Woods...", "Acquainted
with the Night", "Design", "Birches"). It wouldn't be out of the question
for this poem to be a sincere statement of how Frost sees things or saw
things at one time.

Jonathan Byram from United States
Comment 6 of 90, added on February 28th, 2006 at 6:22 PM.

two words... great poem

Joseph from Turks and Caicos Islands
Comment 5 of 90, added on November 1st, 2005 at 11:31 PM.

Decide, Decide

When Robert Frost wrote the poem “Provide, Provide” I think
what he meant to say was decide, decide. Your probably asking yourself:
decide what? To decide what type of life you wish to die. Throughout life
you are given many choices. The decisions that you make during the course
of your life will change the way you live your final minutes. Whether, you
want to spend your closing hour at peace or with disappointment in
yourself. Robert Frost is saying that you have to provide yourself with the
life you want to die with by making sure you make the right decisions early
on. If you think dieing with a lot of money is more important than family
and friends, than you should make sure that happens for you. And vice versa
if you want to die knowing that you lived a life filled friendships and
love. Whichever path you choose to take, make sure it’s the one you want to
live with and die with.

In the poem Provide, Provide, Robert Frost shows a few examples
of what kind of life you may live. You can be born a beautiful woman and
die a haggish witch. You can rule the economy and be the richest person in
the world but end your life with fake friends by your side. You can become
a kind or queen and viewed by your people as a majestic g-d but die as a no
one all alone. In the third stanza Frost writes: “Make up your mind to die
in state.” Meaning you should take control of your destiny and the mental
state in which you die.

The fifth stanza Frost writes: “What worked for them might work
for you.” Meaning you can look at people before you, to take example if
that’s the way you want to live and die. But once again everything comes
down to the decisions you make which shape your life. If you think that the
meaning of life is to be rich and famous, than make the decisions and put
your efforts into making that come about. If all you wish for is to live
life for your family than you should stay loyal and true to yourself.
Throughout the poem Frost is providing you with the philosophy or how to be
happy. He’s not saying that you have to be this or that just to be your
true self.

Frost ends his poem with what I believe is a sarcastic stanza:
“Better to go down dignified With boughten friendship at your side Than
none at all. Provide, provide!”
Frost is saying, that you try in life to provide yourself with the life you
want, but if you find out that in the end you have failed, you may end up
providing yourself with a fake version of how you wanted to end. Frost’s
poem Provide, Provide makes you think of what kind of life you wish to
provide yourself, by making the right decisions in life. Maybe you don’t
want to be a Hollywood star. Maybe you just want to be a stay at home mom
devoting your life your family. Everyone’s life is different and no life
should be criticized for the decisions which one makes.


Anthony from Russia
Comment 4 of 90, added on July 16th, 2005 at 11:53 PM.

Abishag-inward
........and good
For you to doubt the likelihood
crone-crony
true-typical
boughten-bought with decency

This poem is about responsiveness.

(2) respond to

CP from United States
Comment 3 of 90, added on June 25th, 2005 at 10:41 AM.

Reading of the poem I'm thinking frost is talking about a woman like Dame
Elizabeth Taylor, think of the husbands, hollywood and Abishag.

Mtukufu from Kenya
Comment 2 of 90, added on September 19th, 2004 at 9:35 AM.

It's a mere quibble, but I think it's "swing for the bleachers."

Frost liked to add (or at least once claimed so within my hearing) to his
readings of this poem the final line, "Or somebody else will provide for
you."

I tend to read the poem as Frost's somewhat sarcastic comment on the
fickleness of fat and the rat race of riches, the telling phrase being:

"Others on simply being true.
What worked for them might work for you."

Or, of course, perhaps not.

t


Ted Compton from United States
Comment 1 of 90, added on September 12th, 2004 at 11:15 AM.

It's about fate, this time... about beating fate.

Wither go out before it can dig into your or, "if predestined to die late,"
swing for the benches... I think that's the term.

Master Frost starts with a classic example of falling from grace,
illustrating the cruelty of fate.

Of course, in the sixth stanza, we face the truth that it's not just fate
we will be fighting but, also, the hardships of life... and we can't just
slack off in the end, because today can't truly make tomorrow easier if
nothing is done about it. Abishag can not trust in her past to provide a
comfortable future for her; her "disregard" has already put her on another
path.

Perhaps the last stanza is supposed to be critically sarcastic... or maybe
just punctual. If you die with "boughten friendship," then I take it you'd
be rich... so, better to be able to buy friends than to die lonely? No...
How about the first line: "better to die dignified..." Better to die in a
kingly manner than to die in the street. You may have no true friends
either way, but one state is surely better than the other.

So, there again: fate. Fate is ultimate buzz-killer. Frost wants us to
screw with fate like fate screws with us.

c4i

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Information about Provide, Provide

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: Provide, Provide
Volume: A Further Range
Year: 1936
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 26816 times


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