“In White”: Frost’s Early Version Of Design

A dented spider like a snow drop white
On a white Heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of lifeless satin cloth –
Saw ever curious eye so strange a sight? –
Portent in little, assorted death and blight
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth? –
The beady spider, the flower like a froth,
And the moth carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The blue prunella every child’s delight.
What brought the kindred spider to that height?
(Make we no thesis of the miller’s plight.)
What but design of darkness and of night?
Design, design! Do I use the word aright?


  1. Julianne says:

    This poem is very interesting. My dad has recommended Robert Frost many times to me for my poetry report.

  2. angela says:

    This poem is rather interesting to read, as you now a poem can also manipulate the mind…I read this poem in school today and this is the feed back on it…

    Robert Frost writes his poems having to do with nature and so does this poem as well, but Frost also wants to know, who got the flower, spider and the moth together? Is this a place (the heal-all flower) that I visited before? Why does this higher being let bad things happen? Why does the spider have to kill the moth? At first the spider is compared to a dimple..A baby’s dimple..Baby’s are innocent, but the spider doesn’t give life, it snatches it away- evil intent. White in the first 3 lines indicates purity. Luxury and beauty is taken from the moth. This whole poem talks about who allows for bad things to happen and why!!

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