Not only sands and gravels
Were once more on their travels,
But gulping muddy gallons
Great boulders off their balance
Bumped heads together dully
And started down the gully.
Whole capes caked off in slices.
I felt my standpoint shaken
In the universal crisis.
But with one step backward taken
I saved myself from going.
A world torn loose went by me.
Then the rain stopped and the blowing,
And the sun came out to dry me.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem One Step Backward Taken

6 Comments

  1. jack says:

    i think this poem is about impulse vs. restraint. you can either let yourself be taken by the universal crisis, or you can step back. to let yourself be taken is perilous but holds unlimited opportunities. to step back is to exercise free choice, to show restraint. frost seems to say that between impulse and restraint, the consequences of restraint are milder.

  2. Nereyda Hinojosa says:

    You have to know when to quit.

  3. Najah says:

    Thanks Bill u save my life
    tommoro i have an exame i will pray for u…..
    Naaajaaah..

  4. Najah says:

    whate is the allagory in fire and ice is ?

  5. Bill Locke says:

    Frost is a favorite of geologists (see “Fire and Ice”), and “One Step Backward Taken” develops both the geological allegory of unstable ground and standing at a precipice and the metaphorical situation of risky behavior. The final lines also emphasize that many tempests occur in a teapot, and that stepping back can result in the entire problem dissipating (at least for now).

  6. Robert Mahlstedt says:

    Not only political radio spot announcements and newspaper and television comments for and against the candidates were being used,
    but the candidates were bumping their heads together as they started down the gully to the presidency. I was shaken by my neighbors voting Republican, but I stepped back and voted for Kerry. A world torn loose went by me but, the sun came out and brought me to my senses. And the Poem says “What the hell!”

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