Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,
Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and day was past.
Somber clouds in the west were massed.
Out in the porch’s sagging floor,
leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
Blindly struck at my knee and missed.
Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known:
Word I was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,
Word I was in my life alone,
Word I had no one left but God.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

13 Comments

  1. kittym says:

    I had loved this poem the first time I read it..i have memorized it so kinda easy because I think it reflects every feeling deep down inside of me…i thank Mr.frost for this awesome, powerful and spiritual poem that had caught my inner emotions…

  2. john says:

    This poem, along with “Out, Out -” establishes Frost as more than a quaint New England poet. In Bereft his secret is that he is alone, and the tone suggest God is not enough, or more likely that God does not exist to protect him from the leaves that coil up and hiss like the snake that entered his Eden. It suggests like “Out- Out-” that life is meaningless.

  3. priscilla says:

    this poem was one of the best ones that i read. and i’ve read and analyzed like 12 poems in one day…

    if you don’t understand it, that doesn’t mean you should hate it…

  4. ben says:

    hey im only 17 years of age and able to get a great deal from this poem so i dont understand how its considerd to be a bad peice of poetry to some of you folk. “Leaves got up in a coil and hissed, Blindly struck at my knee and mist” is my favourite part of the poem as is describing the action to that of a snake when it is threatend and attaking.The use of the onomatopoetic language here gives great life to the dead leaves and makes them more snake like. i agree that this poem is to do with the loss of companionship but there are many many ways to take this poem and thats why i like it so much.

  5. Yo says:

    Who defines what great poetry is. If I cant figure out what a poet is saying, is it considered great. NO. Poetry is just a word thrown around when something is wrriten with emotion. Screw Shakespear, Frost, and Everyone Else

  6. Kate says:

    The word ‘bereft’ had been in my head all day, so I typed it into Google, only to find this lovely poem. Coincidentally, my favourite poem is also by Robert Frost: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. At 60, with my fourth and youngest child soon to leave home for university, I am feeling bereft, and facing a ‘restive door’. This is a sad, brave poem. It doesn’t give much comfort, or any answers, but that’s life.

  7. Christelle says:

    i can’t beliebe the audacity of “st.jimmy”. what a complete moron. oh, and the poem was written about a time in frost’s life when he thought his love and future wife had rejected him. (i.e when he was young) its about his loss of will to live because the only happiness (“summer was past and day was past”) seemed lost to him.

  8. amy says:

    This poem literally makes me cry. It’s is so incredibly lonely. Why does it have to be taken apart, why can’t you just FEEL the poem? Some very good poetry could never be broken down, but if you can FEEL it, you will see that it really doesn’t NEED to be broken down.

  9. bobby says:

    actually Candy, if i am not mistaken, “sinister” is three syllables. you were wrong in saying there weren’t any words over two syllables. this poem is a great testimony to frost’s ability to convey death in a very figurative way. “bereft” is one of my favorites.

  10. Candy says:

    The poem is as much about loss of companionship as it is about looking towards death. The hissing of the wind is reflected in the sibilant sounds of the chosen words. The shortness of the words themselves – nothing over two syllables – also lends to a short, lonely feeling. He is clearly writing of a man in the autumn of his life, and not looking forward to that autumn.

  11. Michelle says:

    Actually, both of their responses are illogical. I’m not going to bother fighting about what the purpose of the peom is, seeing as how it can be interpreted many ways. However, a poorly written poems would not have used nearly as much figurative language, metonomy, imagery, and onomatopoetic language. All these aside, the poem should not be critiqued for a use of a topic rather the languages used, and the immaturity of the first comment should not have even been commented on, it’s a waste of characters.

  12. Rob says:

    This is not some stupid poem, like what the others say, they are just being stupid. The poem is about not being able to escape death (holding open a restive door) and accepting that you are becoming old and will die soon. The poem is written very figuratively, not giving away anything that is actually meant clearly.

  13. St.Jimmy says:

    This poem is poorly written, it terrible, i felt like i was going to vomit and that bloody bird it wouldn’t stut up.

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