These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods —
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Spring Pools

10 Comments

  1. murali says:

    it is such a wonderful poem by robert frost describing about spring pools

  2. ase says:

    the particular poem by Robert frost”spring pools” brings out the beauty of nature indicating the different changes of season from spring falls to winter,most of his expression are related to his feeling for the nature and its happenings.

  3. jyrki veranen says:

    Youth is the spring of your life. You are beautiful, full of life and joy. But that is also the time when you make the important decision in your life. But regardless which choices you made, your time is still limited, you will have to fade away, to give room for the next generation. And by then you realize how small you always were, even at the height of your powers

  4. Susanlee says:

    In my opinion this poem has many meaninsn it can be interpreted in many different ways. What I get from it is that every decision you make describes you whether right or wrong the wrong ones will fade away but soon enough there will be someone that brings your mistakes up. But they should not either because they too have made mistakes.

  5. Amy says:

    i think that your poem is really good and that i think that you should make more like this poem Spring Pool i had a image of the poem like: the pool, the nature of the darkness, thewood and other thing thankz for the poem from amy

  6. Teague says:

    The poem “Spring Pools” is an expression of Robert Frost’s feelings towards the quickly passing season of spring, in particular the pools that form from the melted snow. Frost uses the pools and flowers as indicators of spring, but then mentions that they will soon “chill and shiver”. This gives the reader the idea that fall is rapidly approaching, and that the flowers and pools will “soon be gone”. The lines “still reflect the total sky almost without defect” suggest that the pools were created as a kind of reflection from heaven. This ties into the lines “let them think twice before they use their powers to blot out and drink up and sweep away” were Robert Frost is ‘warning’ the trees to “think twice” before they absorb all the water. If the trees absorb the pools, this will be a sign that summer, then fall and winter will be coming steadily. Since the season of spring is when the pools form, the trees absorbing the water is the same as them disobeying Frost’s warnings to “think again” which has a deeper meaning of betraying God and committing a sin. At a first glance, the reader of this poem may not be able to interpret the inner importance of it. With the poetic devices used by Frost such as personification (giving the trees human characteristics), repetition ( in the lines “These flowery waters and these watery flowers”) and the use of similes (in the lines “And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver…”), it is much easier for the reader to understand, appreciate and associate it with other meanings.

  7. Chris Wrenn says:

    By my reading, “Spring Pools” is about the fleeting quality of spring, in particular, pools that form in spring from melted snow. In this poem, the pools and surrounding flowers are indicators of spring, and spring is associated with pre-lapsarian Eden. That the pools “still reflect/The total sky almost without defect” suggests that they exist as they were originally created as a kind of reflection of heaven. But the Fall is prefigured by pools and flowers that “chill and shiver” at the prospect that they “will soon be gone,” and not by any glorifying flow of river, but by the invidious absorption by unseen roots of “summer woods” with “dark foliage” which will “darken nature” and “blot [them] out.” The poet warns the woods (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) to “think twice before they use their powers” because of the risk that they will become agents of the Fall of nature (from perfect spring, to declining summer, autumn and winter). The decision to absorb the pools amounts to an “original sin” which commences a Fall that will end in winter.

    My reading is supported by a reading of Frost’s earlier poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” That poem identifies the color gold as “Nature’s first green,” and associates the fading of gold and subsequent development of leaves with “Eden [sinking] to grief.”

    The fleeting quality of all sorts of values, including, among others, spring, youth and beauty, is a common theme of poets from Shakespeare to Housman and Frost.

  8. Jaimie Trautman says:

    I like Alison’s close reading of the poem and her understanding of the words that are written. From there one might think of other aspects, not in place of but in addition to the clear meaning of what is described in the poem. There appears to be an admonition about the use of power and also the striking mirror-like image of dark foliage coming from watery flowers and flowery waters. This suggests not just dominance but also dependence. It seems to me that this poem reflects life in a profound way.

  9. Allison says:

    Hm. I think this poem really is about pools and flowers and trees, not people. I think Frost is longing for just a posteponement of spring, to enjoy the beauty of the last days of winter. He knows that nature doesn’t stop, so he just asks that it “thinks twice.”
    It’s unusual because most poets glorify the coming of spring. But Frost says, no, the spring is noisy and dark and lush, and the winter flowers are simple and still and clear.

  10. Ray says:

    Now a hot topic in biology, Frost uses the pools to remind adults (summer trees) that in the children (the pools) they can see the reflection of heaven (the sky).

Leave a Reply to Jaimie Trautman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Robert Frost better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.