There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
he says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem The Oven Bird

8 Comments

  1. MARYAM says:

    This is totally a vague poem. after reading his poem depression of his life reflects. in the last few lines of poem it can be seen that how amazed Frost is about his life happenings. But a hope for change is also reflected from his poem.

  2. George Williams says:

    I’m writing an IB paper 3 on this poem, and I believe it to be fairly ambiguous with its theme. The in depth values and interpretations of this poem are the theme of death in relation to modernism. If you study the poem carefully you notice his structured technique’s are quite loosely monitored with a rhyming scheme of A,A,B;B,B,A;A,B,A,B;B,A,B,A spelling carefully the terms used within each stanza. This proves Millay’s acceptance of the woman’s role in modernism.

  3. fabio detto fab says:

    rhyme skem:
    A,A,B; C,D; E,C,E; F,F; G,H,G,H.

    enjambment or run on line:
    Verse1 : He says the early petal-fall is past
    Verse2 : when pear and cherry bloom went down
    in showers

    Is costitued from 4 peon

    there is allitteration: verse1: i,e
    verse2: i,o
    verse3: o,a
    verse4: o,e
    verse5: i,e
    verse6: e,a
    verse7: e,o
    verse8: o,a
    verse9: a,o
    verse10: a,e
    verse11: i,e
    verse12: e,a
    verse13: i,a

  4. emma says:

    ithink its about industrilasation – states “highways dust is over all” its from the bird perspective, and the diminshed thing could be polluted countrysdie or just general – every1 else looks 2 far into it.

  5. Allison says:

    This poem, similar to “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, reflects on mortality and the fleeting quality of nature. Frost was preoccupied with the cycle of nature and especially autumn and the ironic beauty of dying leaves, signifying the onset of winter. He captures the impossibility of perfection in this poem. This is reinforced by his reference to the Fall of Adam and Eve in the last line – “a diminished thing”.

  6. carrie-anne says:

    this poem is about the creation of poetry. the oven bird symbolises robert frost as a poet and the song of the bird is his poetry. throughout frost’s life he suffered depression and lack of self confidence and belief and it is often thought that this poem connotes how frost feels his poetry is commonplace just like the oven bird is by nature. nevertheless, frost is also saying that he is a poet that works with the diminshed thing. he, unlike other poets of his time, rejects the romanticism idea and works with things that arent so attractive. he works at a time when all other poets have their poetry complete. the fall he refers to is also thought to portray the fall of man and the darkness of mans heart.

  7. laura says:

    I believe that this poem speaks of a person, who knows change has come. This person wonders what will happen to him, and what he will do, because of this change. But I think in the end the poem is trying to convey that the person has hope for the future, and that is all we can do in times of great change.

  8. amy says:

    i think this poem is about the middle of life, when your powers just begin to fail you. also your looks, with the early petal-fall. but you still have a voice, a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, not a pretty but a persuasive one

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