I DWELL in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me–
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,–
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

55 Comments

  1. viacris loon says:

    I really don’t I understand but this poem I think it was a great story.

  2. Solomon says:

    The poem ghost house is elegant yet moving in a way that can not be described.

  3. your mom says:

    Thank you for all you smart people who actually understand this poem, I am using this for a research paper where I have to analyze these poems of his, and this helped me a lot. 🙂

  4. main says:

    when was this poem made and where was it made at?

  5. Rana S. says:

    Robert in this poem represented the Amrican poeple who were at that time feeling lonly . I think because they were from different countries and this makes them losing communication with each other and accordingly feel lonly .

  6. eric chestnut says:

    It has been quite some time since I have read this piece. The poem haunts me still,in a subtle way, as it should and was intended. Live now, reflect, appreciate, and learn. All fires eventually burn out leaving charred dust and ashes in the silent cold night where they once were. Frost took the time too analize many facets of life and I’m grateful for all his efforts including this one.

  7. BB says:

    this is a great poem and it is amazing

  8. keojames says:

    This poem is written in a reflective mood. The Poetic seeks to show the stillness and the peace of death. The house that the ghost used to live in has changed. The path which was trodden has returned to its original state. Reference made to the bird is that it is still alive and they (the dead people) are mute folks. no words can escape their mouths anymore. All points to the peace that surrounds death.

  9. Michael Jackson says:

    this poem was the worst ever. You should be ashamed with a poem like that

  10. Dr. Susay says:

    This poem is stupid. It makes me feel gay. I don’t like it at all.

  11. Eric chestnut says:

    I didn’t like the poem it was really long and the ryhming was off

  12. g. Kats says:

    “I know not who these mute folks are who share this unlit place with me” I believe that frost is speaking from the point of view of a man already dead. Possably even foreseeing his own death.Frost is Known for his ability to mix the cycle of mans life with that of natures, here again he has splendly meshed the natural rythm of both.

  13. mike says:

    This poem is something worth reading over and over again… i enjoyed the use of words he chose along with how he made the rhythm run so smoothly. One of my favorite from him so far.

  14. Jenna says:

    I interpreted this poem to be about Frost revisiting his old house that he had once had many memories, loved ones, and a lot of his life. He is seeing it again and expressing his lonlyness. He is a lonly man and says he will forever be there with them and never forget. The imagery he uses shows how important this place was to him and the ppl in it. He had good memories but then again they are only memories and cannot be relived. Hope that helps some ppl.

  15. Keekee says:

    I love dis one holla back

  16. Curis says:

    its my fav…so good…. i love the 3rd word very muihc\

  17. erik umland says:

    i think i found out what the poem is actually talking about, in the first part he’s just talking about the old house thats has been forgotten, and then it goes on to the the grave yard, that has also been forgotten, and then he talks about the forgotten people lying inside the grave yard

  18. Ry says:

    I want to know what the poem means and find a site that has any information about the poem and thanks if you show me one because i really need one for my research paper, because i got a 50 on the rough draft and i need to get an A on the final to keep from failing the class, Honors English II

  19. john doe says:

    what significants does this poem have on robert frosts life???

  20. Kelly Duggan says:

    I’m 14, and I’m using this poem as part of my essay on ghost stories. When I first read it, I didn’t quite understand it – I imagined it, but I didn’t understand what my thoughts meant. After reading it through a few times, it became clear to me that there are several possibilities, not just one particular one. My initial thought was that the persona’s a ghost, he’s full of sorrow from the loss of his life, his family, his home that has now been captured by nature. He’s sad that the house has been left derelict, no-one to care for it, but happy that he’s still the only occupant, apart from the two other ghosts, his family that also died.
    It’s very how Robert Frost has written this, I love the rhyming, the pattern of the lines and the stanzas. In a way, I wish it could be more clear, but then I like the mystery of it, it’s so intriguing.

  21. Courtney says:

    I don’t know why people like the ones who last commented even bother. Robert Frost was a great poet, and everyone stands to learn something from his works. So if your not serious why comment at all?

  22. Stef says:

    yo my homies lol i soo like agree with bill mcgee your my homie!! lol yeh these teachers these days mine goes nuts she took my cell phone away w/e rob frost is cool and so r his poems lol cya

  23. bill mcgee says:

    yo dis was the best stuff i ever read u guys should never write anymore cause i h8 u now because my language arts teacher is making me and my class memorize ur longest poem that stinks plz dont do this to us kids and make us suffer!!!!

  24. Stef Belding says:

    I think all of Robert Frost Poems are great. I’m doing a project on them with some of my friends and I can’t decide which on to pick but otherwise for that lady Samantha Kolar stop complaining people work long hours just to write these poems so you can see them so stop complaining about the grammer and suck it up would you like to spend all of your day writing poems for other people to see? I don’t think so and people can comment if they want to

  25. oliver blanco says:

    i think that robert frost poems are great speacially this one because it scares and i like poems like that and i also think that robert hasa a way with rhyming

  26. Samantha Kolar says:

    I hate you guys who cannot spell. It’s really bumming me out. You all have terrible grammar, too. Or maybe you’re all lazy? Anyway, I agree with Edgar Mujica. By “analyzing” it with phrases like, “I don’t understand the poem,” or “I read the poem and i believe it is very sad because of this poor ghost struggling in his deression and lonelyness.” Seriously, at least try to “analyze” it in a way that’s at least a little mature, or please don’t comment at all.

  27. Alejandra says:

    Sandburg is a true genius writing about a haunted house is awesome I actually got scared for a moment

  28. Edgar Mujica says:

    i think that most people who have commented on the this poem are blind to its actual meaning, therefore, have come up with nonsense. To spoil a masterpiece is to steal from its gravity. That’s what you have done. Bastards!

  29. Raimundo says:

    I love this guy! He is so good at making me visualize the poem!……Peace out

  30. Will says:

    i wish people didnt leave comments like “what the hell is he talking about” cause i really would hate to help the person that said this. I would rather help someone who says, “i think _____, what do u guys think?”………………but nyways… the poem is about Frost’s lonliness after his wife and daughter die along with his parents. He writes alot of poems about being alone like “aquainted with the night.” He had a lonely life. Go figue.

  31. Jessica Gardner says:

    I think that this poem is very good and it shows how this old hou8se how no one lives in is steal alive in away.

  32. angela says:

    this is a very beautiful poem in the fact of forgotteness and he yet still wanders and lives there. he is the one that will look after his companions.

  33. anne says:

    I don’t understand the poem.

  34. Logan Tullett says:

    I read the poem and i believe it is very sad because of this poor ghost struggling in his deression and lonelyness. I feel like hed be a ghost in real life because the way he feels really shows you that.

  35. Elizabeth says:

    this poem is allright. is not that scary.

  36. CP says:

    Very inspiring.

    He is truly talking about soul.

  37. Terry Berg says:

    I know that Frost’s implications were much more pervasive, but all I could think of as I was reading this poem was my mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. She dwells in a “ghost house” from which she cannot escape, at the end of a “road” by which I can no longer reach her. All that she has left are vague memories of long ago (the cellar). Her nights are full of fears and nightmares (bats), and in her shadowy mind, she is often visited by long-dead friends and companions. The whipporwill, I believe, is Death coming closer as the poet anticipates his arrival. On some level, my mother also hears this call, but for her it is a siren’s song.

  38. Mario & Luigi says:

    ahhhhhhh. It’s okay, he could have done ALOT better.

  39. mackits me fergy says:

    this poems title is alright but the actual poem is very good. I would suggest this poem to any one, robert frost is a great poet.

  40. Tamika Sanders says:

    My English professor is a big fan of Frost “The Ghost House” I believe Robert Frost was referencing the emptiness felt while living at the farm house his grandparent left to him and his family. The house was old and seemed to be lonely during his struggles with becoming a know poet. I felt the poem because I can relate to living in an old house that seems empty after everyone left. The eerie feeling inside about struggling to make ends meet to raise a family can contribute to the ghostly feeling of the house.

  41. Hillarie & Melisa says:

    koy muk poems! It wily goot! It make me laugh lot! Robert Frost mi hum noi!

  42. Anonymous says:

    It was great, i used it for my 6th grade english project!!

  43. Jeremiah Beard says:

    I like this poem it was so easy to understand!! I am studing Robert Frost in English.
    My teacher Mr. Suelzle likes Robert Frost’s poems also.

    Thank You

  44. cody says:

    wow. i love reading this poem cause not just in this one, but orbert frost uses such great imagery in his work. and even though im only 14, and i havent had a big white house with tons of beautiful land like the one i see when i read this, i still think of something

  45. cory says:

    i like the poem hell i love the poem

  46. Federico Olivares says:

    ay ay ay que buen poema!!!!

  47. Tim Williams says:

    This poem is the best poem i have ever read but it kinda doesnt make sence

  48. Teeyah says:

    I think ROBERT FROST is a great poet, who showed people how well he could write. I think he write things that connect to everyone! And this is the best one I read so far!

  49. Rachel says:

    His poems are wonderful it kinda of makes you feel like your experiencing while you read it.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I love this poem…its great 2 use in poem contest at ur school i recemend this poem 2 everybody in grades 6- life

  51. jessica wild says:

    i thinkit is a great poem. i really enjoyed it and i know other people who like poetry will enjoy it also

  52. jodi says:

    mr.frost enters a world were everything is maDE UP AND HIP.THIS IS WHAT MAKES him so good

  53. H.G. Scudder says:

    Read this poem, and then “The Witch of Coos.” Two poems dealing with the supernatural, but with nearly opposite takes. “Ghost House” evokes a sense of meloncholy, emptiness, loneliness and sorrow. “Coos” is shocking in the casualness with which the mother and son discuss the skeleton’s adventure — it almost comes across as slapstick, as the mother slaps the bony hand off, then tricks the skeleton into going up to the attic. Death may be a common theme for poets to dwell upon, but Frost takes two uncommon approaches in “Ghost House” and “The Witch of Coos”.

  54. Michael Piercy says:

    Robert Frost shows a sense of childhood fear throughout this poem. He talks of the lonely house, the bats at night, and the grave stones outside. Although he has this childhood fear though, he recognizes that although the two ghosts are there, they are both there together and they have a strong bond between each other. This is recognized in the last 2 lines of the poem. Frost has a bit of a spooky tone when he first begins the poem in the first 2 stanzas when he is describing the house, but a realization of the two mute strangers is soon found and gives a small sense of relaxation. This poem shows a sense that even those whos names are forgotten, the moss covered stones have the names gone, can still have an everlasting bond between each other if they really want to.

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