I had for my winter evening walk–
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.

And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.

Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o’clock of a winter eve.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Good Hours


  1. Trey says:

    It seems like he is alone in solitude and he thinks its a better way to think bout things.

  2. leonardo says:


  3. albert s braverman says:

    The speaker in Good Hours is evidently an elderly man. He is, at least, alone, with no one to accompany him on his winter evening walk. But he “had” a vision of youth. The cottages he passes are alight, “up to their shining eyes in snow.” The eyes of youth shine, and the cottages become the representation of the “youthful forms” he sees through the curtains, which he also “had.” But he is separated from and outside of these possessions, only perceiving them while actually alone in the dark and the cold. Nevertheless, he considers that he “had” the young people’s “company” on his outward stroll. He can’t enter the cottages and join the young people. He is in a different world.

    Nevertheless, when his walk takes him beyond the village he misses his vision of youth. He “repents” having pursued his walk into the winter night, and returns. By then the windows were dark and the occupants of the cottages were, like the village street, presumably slumbering, or perhaps making love. Now he “has” nothing. His lonely footsteps “creak” on the snow, and perhaps his joints creak as well.

    The poem’s paradox is that it is only at this point that his presence in the village embarrasses him. He was not intrusive, but he was intensely aware of the activity of the young people in cottages, whose faces and forms he noticed. Despite his separation he somehow felt he was participating in these activities. But the muted sound of his footsteps in the slumbering village seemed to him a “profanation,” though the term seemed to him somewhat excessive (“By your leave”).

    He was, of course, awake when the inhabitants were presumably asleep. In this sense he was then in a different world from theirs. But his world was rather grim. An old man alone in the cold and darkness is confronted with death. The young people are sleeping and he too will sleep. In the last two identical lines of Stopping by Woods, the context implies that “sleep” in the repeated line refers to death. Walking through the silent village street the old man is a memento mori, a representative of senescence and death. As such his solitary steps profane life. If the poem is about anything, it concerns rejoicing in youthful life. But now there is no occasion for joy, and his thoughts turn inward to his own state and future. It is as if the village had been invaded by a ghost. It is life, rather than death which is sacred for him, and now he stands only for death, which defiles life. It is “ten o’clock on a winter’s eve.” Midnight is immanent. He now “has”nothing.

  4. ari says:

    i luv how he makes everything so realistic i have to remember this poem and read it aloud in frount of my 6th grade class and teacher i will probaly forget some words but always remember this poem

  5. Sofia says:

    I like how the title “Good hours” makes u suspect that its about good times u’ve had in life, but really its about solitude, and in life when u take a road one way and then turn around, everything has changed and you have aged, everyone has died, the windows are black with nothing, etc. However i really need to know the message of this project for school, so if anyone has ideas plz share them:)

  6. Catherine Rose says:

    It seems to me that one with a lack of understanding is so quick to hate a work of art rather than to learn. Why is it that this planet is so afraid to feel??? That which is a thing of beauty should be treasured, not despised because of it. Poetry is so many things, but above all else, it is the song of the soul, the notes are strokes of ink on paper, given as a gift of ones self to others, in the hope that our deepest and truest emotions can be shared in their purest form. How, in the name of God, can anyone treat such a gift with hatred and vulgarity? Are you afraid? Do you look at a thing of beauty and spit on it? What has become of humanity? It is enough to make one despair.

  7. Lebey says:

    I have to admit that this poem is different from all other kinds. For example it really compels

  8. Sam says:

    OMG I LOVE this poem to death!!! I think he illistrates loneliness really well. I love Robert Frost!!!

  9. Jazzmin says:

    This poem is a brillant expression of solitude, rejection, and lonliness.

  10. paige riseley says:

    I like good hours without Robert Frost his poem sucked and im glad his dead I hate the fact that i also have to do english work on it thanks alot Robert stick my finger up at ypou fuck face god bless america!!- Poms suck and the aussies play betta cricket. I love rikki stewart

  11. Pam says:

    What a magnificent poem. So small, yet so very large.

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