Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


  1. The Smarter One says:

    It has nothing to do with a man in a woods, your contextual knowledge is very bad. Robert Frost wrote this poem in a state of depression as he had thoughts of suicide. and no Miss Erika Roybal Frost does not have a secret!!! Hes planning suicide, where shud i do it, the snowy are, its quite peaceful. Mark bloody Dickson you tool, yer sure hes writing of how beutiful “woods” are… hmmm woods, dark place, a place where u get “lost” perhaps, this is his why he is stopped and also notice the rhythm… the first three versus all rhyme but the last… not mesmarised the whole time Alice Hsu but actually the woods being symbolic of his state of mind being in a disillusional state, waking up from it wen he realises, “he still has promises to keep” eg not kill himself…

    and why isnt the guy at the house there… maybe its because there is no one in his life he though, suicide perhaps… duh. Maybe if there was a man in the house he wuould have never even contemplated suicide.



    • To The Smarter One – Your tone is very condescending on here towards others – albeit it’s been awhile (June 7, 2007) since you posted your misspelled opinion on here. Maybe you should spend more time learning how to spell, rather than critiquing other’s points of view. Maybe you are NOT the smarter one? 😉

  2. Christine Fissella says:

    In this poem it seems like Frost is describing that he has a jurney to complete and he is riding on a sleigh in the woods. He knows he has to keep on going because he has somthing important to do. then near the end he says nice things about the woods and the snow.

  3. Alice Hsu says:

    This poem is referring the narrator was depicting the beauty of the snow scenery and expressing the contradictory feelings that he had. When the narrator came to the forest, he was mesmerized by the beautiful scenes, as a result, he wanted to probe on the mysteries of the nature; however, he had to do what he had to do and that was to move on. This poem use personification and imagery to show us when two different desires happened at the same time it will create a contradictory feeling.

  4. Erika Roybal says:

    I think in this poem Frost has a favor to do for someone secret. It seems that he does not really care about his horse because he will do anything to get the job done. I think the ringing of the harness bell might mean that he is checking to see if someone will come out of the house before he enters it because he cannot see because it is so dark.

  5. pelin chalayan says:

    I think this poem has a cold feeling. Almost like Frost is hidding or not telling part of his story. He seems to have a journey to complete and he wont stop at any cost, even if his horse is tired. He shows a lot of dedication to whatever he needs to get done , and a lot of loyalty to whoever it is being done for, even if it is for himself. He showes the reader that its more than walking through the forest its a journey that everyone goes through a journey called life.

  6. Roxy Nazari says:

    This poem is about a man who is riding through the woods on a snowy evening. He is tired and wants to rest, but he has a responsibility. This man is very loyal. Although he has miles to go before he can sleep, he decides not to take a rest in the woods because he knows that he has a promise to keep.

  7. Marc Dickson says:

    In this poem, I feel that he is speaking of the attraction of the woods and the responsibilities outside the woods. I also think he describes the attraction to just watch the beauty of the woods and forget your troubles.

  8. Ryan Arbues says:

    The poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost shows me Frost’s loyalty and accountability in that he wanted to stop to rest for the night, but he knew the horse would struggle so he kept on. You should always be loyal in life and keep your promises as Frost did in this poem. This poem gave a perfect example of being loyal without actually stating it in words.

  9. Ashley Dien says:

    The poem “stopping by woods on a snowy evening” reveals a sort of sadness in Frost. The poem sends the message of peace and deep thought. I think he is trying to say that everyone needs to stop and be alone once in a while. Just to assess their own lives by themselves. He’s trying to say independence is a good thing.

  10. Daynon turner says:

    This poem is Differnt. I don’t know what he trying to say. He talks about things of his time period that doesn’t relate to our period. This piece of literature is magnificent. His sentence structure is well done also.

  11. Alyssa Sasaki says:

    This poem is different. The fact that Frost refers to something that he never reveals what it is is a mystery. I think that that thing is for each individual to fill in with his or her own feelings. Like never stop loving or stop believing.

  12. AF says:

    I’m not sure what some people are talking about on here. This poem reflects the time in Frost’s life when he had a great deal of depression. The reason he speaks of woods and cold is because one of the most peaceful ways to die is to freeze to death, obviously he is considering suicide by just falling asleep on the coldest, darkest night of the year. But he realizes he has important things to do before he passes.

  13. adriel lapena says:

    does anyone know what is the promise that the man said he had to keep?

  14. Silvia says:

    In this poem Frost tried to give us an immagine of the heaven on the Earth.No sounds. Not many colours and the main one is white. Also the feeling that i have while reading this poem are made of underpressure but at the same time of chill.
    The man on his way, which i belive is the author, would like to stay but he has ” promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep”. The last three verses i think are a way to say that he is not ready yet to share the heaven because he still have miles to walk on and promises to keep.

  15. Marli says:

    Im using this poem for a school assignment and I think it’s great. Its really interesting and I think Robert Frost was a great poet. I can really picture it altough we don’t get much snow in Australia. It reminds me of the kids TV show “Arthur”. I don’t know why. Great poem though. It really intrigued me and stopped me in my tracks, leaving me to think about it. I also like his poem on Fiare and Ice.

  16. Jeremy says:

    Man, this reminds me of my house. I love Robert Frost. He was a friend of my grandfather. I have an autographed book of his

  17. Emily DeCiccio says:

    In this poem Frost is describing a cold evening in the woods. I think he is on his way to do something important, like a promise he intends to keep, because he says, “But I have promises to keeps, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”. I also think he is worried about what may lie ahead of him because he is taking the time to clear his mind by watching the snow fall in the woods.

  18. Matthew Nourmohamadian says:

    The dark cold woods symbolize the hardships in life, and the man who lives there is enduring them. The poem states in the last stanza “I have a promise to keep”(Frost 1)/ and the that is a metaphor for our repsonisbilities in life and “And mile to before I sleep”(Frost 1)/ is stated in the last 2 lines if the poem and it means to stay repsonsible and follow through with your promises, even when it is dark.

  19. David B. says:

    I think that this comment shows how we should stop and take in the good things in life but not to be lazy in it and to keep to our responsibilities.

  20. Matthew Fauls says:

    In the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, i think that it is about a harsh journey that a journeyman has to endeavor and go through. I believe that he finds a cabin and a nice old man in the middle of the forest where it is freezing cold. Where ice drips form on you’re nose and that it is so cold that you shivery profusly. I believe that frost uses amazing imagery in this peom and captivated me to read more and want more. Overall, this poem really took me on a journey and told me how it is to endeer on a harsh endeavor and need shelter when it is cold and dark . You look to people for your time in need and pray that you do the same when someone comes knocking on your door.

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