You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea);
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,
Slave to a Springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Putting in the Seed


  1. Shirley Eliakis says:

    Frost is at the DINNER table for his final meal of the day. His personal season of fertility is over. He observes. He is aware of the trials for the seed. But the seed is already planted and he cannot control it with his own will. It will grow without Frost’s control. The trick is to watch and allow life to be.

  2. Heidi says:

    well, in my opinon Frost has written some good poems, however do you really think he spent all his time thinking over every word so it meant something – because i certainly don’t, i think people add symbolism to make themselves sound intelligent!

  3. mahmoud ghoochani says:

    poems Mr.mahmoud ghoochani for


    Nobody aware of his future

    I want to go .
    May be I don’t come back again . and maybe come back .
    Nobody aware of his future .
    I want to write again .
    Even my pen is broken and my heart be annihilated…
    But I am in a mood to do this … .
    I want to look at the reality rightly and tell them to other .
    I want to be with you again …
    Nobody aware of his future …
    Maybe I come back soon …
    Nobody aware of his future , but I will come and speak to you about the fate of the storms .
    I don’t want flower but I like the love very much .

    Author : Mahmoud Ghoochani
    Iran – Mashhad


    The simple words of the moments

    The last passenger who takes the loneliness road , sees the night in which the tree of love left him a simple word . a shelterless stillness , a lonely evening , the mirage of horizon , scarcity of lyrics , to stay and leave , coming and going .
    Are the black clouds upon the simple word of the moments .

    Author : Mahmoud Ghoochani
    Iran – Mashhad


    Name : Mahmoud
    Surname : Ghoochani
    Birth Certificate No : 1439
    Date of Birth : February 4 , 1985
    Address : P.O.BOX : 1383 – 91375
    Mashhad – Iran
    Telephon : (+98) 05116654367
    Mobile : (+98) 09329193996

  4. uncarvedblock123 says:

    First off, who cares if Mr. Frost was gay?

    That out of the way, the poem seems to me a tangle of metaphor and literal translation. For example, “burying the white” can be read as filling the page as well as read with the following line (i.e. showing the tending of one’s property). Of course, the obvious sexual references can still be bled from these same lines when introducing “barren”, “smooth bean” and “wrinkled pea” in the subsequent lines.

    It seems Frost challenges us next when he claims that his mate might “become like” him, “Slave to a Springtime passion…”. This might appear to contradict the idea that he is being called from the field to tend to his mate’s needs (since he here claims to have the passion himself). Of course, the tending of these fields requires both the passion and the literal act.

    On balance, a beautiful piece that mixes sexuality with natural metaphors of nature both rich and complex.

  5. ea says:

    Yes, this is very sexy, but I feel more of the practical poet here; for me, he seems to be talking about the poet’s need for someone down to earth to come and rouse him from his muse, as he writes and he appreciates his wife for keeping the house together and giving his life some schedule because otherwise he would be too absorbed in his work to notice, just as he may very well be when gardening, too. There’s not much difference in the professions.

  6. Sarah says:

    hey everyone I came on here to finalise my research on Robert Frost’s poetry just to check out if there’s anything I’ve been missing. Turns out there was and I have my first a-level exam tomorrow afternoon. I really do recommend studying this site! Well worth it! I actually now do feel filled with confidence, which I could really need right about now! Thanks to you all!

  7. Tina says:

    I can’t see how there can be so many meanings/symbols in one small poem.
    i’m studying frost for my AS-Level course and with the exam in 2 days i thought i’d better brush up on my knowledge of him but everything is the same
    it’s either, life, death, sex or love.
    to be honest i think people over analyse the poems. he didnt write them thinkin oh i’ll add a metaphor in here to make it read like tht. it’s stupid.

  8. Will says:

    Hey, ive studied Frost for two years now and after thorough research im sad to tell you all but Mr Frost was/is Gay! But looking at your well achieved analysis i agree that this poem is an act of making love, yet, frost being homosexual i beleive he is talking about his intimate love for nature, rather than a woman, he would rather enjoy planthing seeds in the soil and being close to nature than to a womans body, he is using nature to describe this act. Another thought to tease your minds with is if you read lines 3 and 4, the word white suggests something pure, virginity perhaps? he may be talking that this is so precious and delecate that it is something not to let go of lightly, hence the delecate soft petals. Could go on but il leave these thoughts with you guys, many regards will.

  9. SmartDancer says:

    I agree with all of you that the poem is indeed relating the act of sex with the fertilization of the earth, both resulting in new life. However, I think on a deeper level Frost may be conveying that he holds the same love for nature that most would associate with love making.

    So I think that there is def. multiple layers in which one can read this poem, but hopefully this helps some of you do your exams and assignments 😀 good luck

  10. anu young says:

    the beauty of this poem is that it portrays the beauty of procreation. i am studying lit. as an a-level course and this poem is one of frost’s poem that i believe will touch women especially mothers to prove to them that it is or still what it.
    i love poems like thiis because they touch the soul and i am more of a romantic person.
    kuddos to frost.

  11. American Lady says:

    I never studied this poem when I was in school. There were other Frost poems that we studied – ie ‘The Road not Taken’ ‘Mending Wall’.

    The first time I read this, even though I see the natural overtures, I understood it to be about pregnancy. I take it that my husband did to, as he was the one who introduced it to me, and we are expecting our first child.

    When I went back to re-read it, I realized it wasn’t necessarily about pregnancy, but about the act of sex itself.

  12. David says:

    Frost said himself that the meanings of his poems were generally the most obvious ones.

  13. trisha says:

    personally i think Robert Frost is not a very good poet,because there are to many hidden meanings in his work,its hard to work it all out!

  14. Fairy princes T*n*a says:

    hey, reading your comments have given me some great ideas! but just starting the course id like some help from you guys, if you guys have any important info or facts that are useful about the poem, please could you write back!just to help me out! thanx! love me x

  15. emi says:

    hey, im also doing robert frost for my a-levels,which at first i thought it was a bummer, but by reading ur comments i can get ur ideas about this poem,which for me is,better,cos i did think o no… poems..analysing, arrrrrr!so thanx for your comments uve helped me out! gud luk eveyone!

  16. Ess Gee says:

    Frost is a deep poet. “Putting in the seed” has definatley got a sexual agenda, the title alone conveys this. “if i leave off burrying the white soft petals” seems to be Frost describing love making outside and the sheer weight burries the soft white petals. This may be related to Frost’s mistress. Definatley a light hearted poem which uses love making as a metaphor to conve his love for nature. Good luck in you exams everyoneXXX

  17. Trudi says:

    Definately sexual undertones here…
    Interesting that your teacher says all Frosts poems are about sex, ours says they are all about DEATH…..
    Stopping by woods…not merely a cheery little poem about snow, but apparently Frost contemplating suicide. Cheery, wasn’t he?

  18. kyle says:

    i think this poem has so many meaning there is no point tryin to analyse it true hidden message

  19. Vikram says:

    Im also studying Robert Rrost poems for my A-levels and all your comments have really helped me understand what they mean…Thanx 🙂

  20. Stevie says:

    Just wanna say thanks for all the help, I really cant get the “hidden meanings” on my own and you guys have shown me a completely different side to this poem (I thought Oven Bird was all about de-forestation!)…

  21. nicola says:

    I am ALSO studying robert frost poems for A level. But how many hidden meanings are there in these poems because our teacher mike says there all about sex 🙁

  22. Katie says:

    I am studying this poem for my A-Levels, and I believe that the poem consists of ideas of the growth of a baby. Planting the seed being conception, and the growth of the baby to that of ‘early birth’ and ‘arched body’, showing the extent of the meaning throughout the poem, leading to the belief of the seedling being that of a baby. I find this poem very interesting, evaluating the concepts of Frost’s poems, into that of reality can be some what of challenge, but the ways he uses metaphors to construct ideas such as birth, and relating his views and concepts into other poems. In relation of ‘ the Apple Tree’, to that of ‘After Apple-Picking’. Also unlike ‘The Oven Bird’, ‘Putting in the Seed’ is a happy, contented sonnet, and relate to the joy of birth and creation which is a common nature in Frost’s poetry.

  23. Matt says:

    I really feel that this poem is an extended metaphor for a block of wood. The poem and the block of wood are very similar. Both could be made into something rather beautiful and nice, but just like a drunk carpenter, Frost just couldn’t be bothered to add something special to this poem. Just a bunch of lines that happen to rhyme – like a wood block just happens to be an effective doorstop.
    Oh and you could also say that it’s a continuation of ‘After Apple Picking’, which is a rather more special work from Frost’s collections.

  24. David Hurn says:

    I am also studying this for my A Levels I think this particular poem is ambiguous with many different meanings the main the growth of a plant or a baby!! “Seedling” confirms it has something to do with plants and “arched body” suggests the figure is of a baby lying in a womans stomach

  25. Rosy says:

    I have read an analysis of this which says the poem is purely about his love of nature, but my English teacher insists that he has ulterior motives in all of his poems. In this case I would definitely suggest that there are sexual connotations throughout, and also ideas of reproduction, procreation. For example ‘barren’ can not only mean empty, but can also mean that a person is unable to have children. I think that the poem may be about Frost realising that the only love he has is for nature, and he no longer craves sex (he was writing this poem when he was slightly older, and had conceived all the children he would ever have).

  26. kayleigh says:

    i am also studying him for my a-levels and personally i hink he is a rubbish poet. I think that its nice to have a hidden meaning in a poem and have to think about it. But when everyone has to try just tothink of anything ithink its pointless. it doesnt convey a message at all. thanks exam board for giving us this.

  27. leigh says:

    i have to study this poem for my a levels and i feel that this poem is very metaphorical and that the seed represents a new life (a baby). i interpret this poem as having sexual qualitys to it

  28. Jayme says:

    I think that this poem is about the beginning and end of life. The title refers to the beginning of life, like planting a seed and line 12 refers to the end of life.

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