Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem The Wood-Pile


  1. Bob Smith says:

    This is a good poem. People should read this poem because it is good

  2. cameron sam says:

    waste of time worst reading of my life

  3. sly says:

    i think that this poem completes the way Frost apprehends nature, that is as a motherly figure. indeed, the mother gives affection (which is what Frost demonstates in some poems such as ‘Birches’ where the child is learning love and deriving joy from his symbiosis with the natural world); the mother feeds (which is what Frost shows us in ‘After Apple picking’ where he harvests “ten thousand thousand” apples); but the mother also educates, teaches lessons about life. and, this is exactly that role frost is illustrating in ‘ThE Wood-pile’: nature is teaching the speaker a lesson about life, a lesson with a main truth which is mortality. the speaker is sad, bitter, confused in this poem, even though he is in a familiar setting (which is nature) but yet this does not come as a contradiction to Frost’s other poems but rather as a complement to its overall picture of a motherly figure. the greyness of the poem’s atmosphere is due to the fact that the speaker, in this specific episode, is learning an absolute truth from the natural world: the trurh of mortality.
    sly – Tunisia

  4. Victoria says:

    I recently learned about this poem in an American Literature course.

    I agree with the comment about the title being neatly-split. It is basically about our need for order and structure in our world. Nature cannot provide this order to our lives, we can only feel oriented among human structures. In the woods, the narrator is lost wandering among the trees that all look the same – there are no landmarks, except that he knows he is far from home (a human structure). There is an order to the nature that surrounds him (the trees “straight up and down”) and yet he is utterly confused by and lost in it. Even the bird, a sign of life amongst the stillness, is alienating. And then the narrator comes across the wood-pile. It is very well-made, but old and decaying, and about to fall apart. Long after the creator of the pile has left, his work still remains, but yet that is also only temporary. In the context of nature and the world around us, our work and our lives are only temporary.
    The narrator imagines that only someone who enjoyed ordering the world around him could have spent so much effort in creating something without any practical use – the pile is far from any fireplace and is left to merely decay back into the earth where it came from. Thus, to put it more clearly, the narrator imagines the man who created the pile had done so just for the sake of it, to create something familiar in the unfamiliarity of the bleak woods around him. Nature no longer speaks to us. The meaning in the world around him is lost, but what remains and what orients us is structure.
    This idea of structure left behind when meaning is lost is very prevalent amongst Modernist literature, including Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Buttons”, Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, and the art of the time including the Cubism of Pablo Picasso. As much as we like to think of Frost as a folksy American poet, his insight and ideas were actually quite current to his time, even though he held on to traditional subjects and form.

  5. Hellianna says:

    i apologise for the spelling mistakes below ! ! !

    emmmm . . . thanx 4 readin ! ! !

    frost = ginger genius

  6. Hellianna says:

    I think Robert Lee Frost is an under rathed genius ! ! ! each of his many poems suck ass (in a good way) and explore the intensity nof nature and death through isolation and lonliness ! ! !we should be praising Frost instead of rejecting him ! ! ! what give you the right to criticise sum1 with such talent ? ? ?

    Robert Frost shows throgh this poem how man de-appreciates nature. he illustrates through harsh imagery and language how man, forgets and takes advantage of nature by just simpley leaving a pile off wood untouched. Frost wonders y such a thing can be left alone not being usedd but obvioulsy needed.

    this also shows the carelessness of man’s attitude towards nature as he has cut down tree/s in his selfishness as he thought he needed it for fire, but obviously realised he didn’t and left it lying there, forgot about it. this also emphasises man’s greed.

    the bird represents the love that Frost had for each of his dying relatives he lost. he writes that the bird was there, then he went away, even forgot about. this hows me the reader how Frost himself doesnt feel he paid as much attention as he shoyld have to those before he died. it sahows his deep regret and how he tried to forget in the long run, but failed, cou7ldn’t hence why we are reading this poem.

    the bird also represents how man and nature and work along side each other, if not thinking of carelessy, can be at one . . .

    Here, Do U Love It ? ? ?

  7. greg says:

    Frost had to have stumbled upon this piece of ‘handiwork’ himself while exploring. I wonder what’s there now? A parking lot? Football stadium? High school?

  8. Greg says:

    Even the word is neatly split by Frost.
    This poem speaks to the integrity of work. A tribute to a man’s hands, skill with an axe, physical strength and so on.
    The speaker calls the wood-pile “handiwork”. That’s what it is . Art without utility though its original intent was utilitarian the wood-pile now stands as art.

    The poem ends with some darker images – ‘burning of decay.’. the speakers seems unexplainably annoyed with the little bird that joins him.

  9. Stephanie Smith says:

    This poem is alright and at the moment im doing a presentation on it for my english literature class. There is no analysis on the net for it-how poopy!!!

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