Treasure Island

Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Monday, August 18, 2014

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  • George Wolff (8/22/2014 3:34:00 PM)

    The speaker is riding alone in his hourse-drawn sled on a snowy evening. He stops to watch the woods fill up with snow, but he is aware the oweer might be suspicious and his horse wants to get to warmth and food and get his harness off. The speaker feels the tension between his pleasure in stopping and the bonds that tie him to society and to practical demands. He will go on to meet these demands but the stopping has been good. It was an impractical escape into aesthetic pleasure, in his mind associated with sleep and perhaps even resting in peace after death. (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (8/19/2014 8:09:00 AM)

    This is the famous poem and the last or concluding stanza is much more effective, I think this is the stanza which is thesoul of the poem, above three stanza is only supporting and paving path for the last...superb p[oem My salutation to the poet, may he live in peace (Report) Reply

  • Ishita Chakrabarty (8/14/2014 2:15:00 PM)

    This poem has an altruistic air about it.Frost's poems always remind me about the choices we make in life.His poems make me crave for more.According to me sleep denotes the eternal sleep - death. Seems more like we have a lot to achieve before death can force us asleep. (Report) Reply

  • Bill Knotts (6/27/2014 1:46:00 AM)

    This poem is so beautiful, innocent… and sad. A lethal mix which has the ability to touch all of you. Like life itself it offers such joy and sorrow.
    Desiring death is forbidden to us even though we may be drawn to the comfort it might offer. He has gone to this forbidden place where he knows he should not be. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Sanchez (4/28/2014 12:46:00 PM)

    i wish it was snowing. then again, when it snows, i wish its warm (Report) Reply

    Richard Provencher (8/26/2014 9:40:00 AM)

    Joseph, here in Nova Scotia we get our share of snow. A few years ago a storm landed about three feet on our community. My wife did not accompany me when I tented out in the winter, which is great fun.

  • * Sunprincess * (4/27/2014 12:10:00 AM)

    ...........truly one of the best poems ever written....and with a touch of mystery which leaves me wondering what those promises to keep are....loved reading this poem... (Report) Reply

  • Crystal Star (4/1/2014 4:50:00 AM)

    By far, this is one poem I feel so attached to. The last lines I came across first in a childhood book I read about Nehru and then I read the whole poem to love it more. Then I was obsessed with Robert Frost poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Kepa Gadu (3/25/2014 4:27:00 PM)

    my boyfriends dad just got a great Ford Escape by working part time from a macbook. published here http: //tr.im/4zzny (Report) Reply

  • Patrick Dennis (2/8/2014 12:30:00 AM)

    I have often looked out on a mountain range where the foothills fold on fold ascend; and I have imagined the unique magic of each hidden valley. The repetition of the last two lines reminds me of that. As any young child will testify, there is beauty in repetition - and each repetition is somehow unique.

    The poem as a whole to me resonates with the transfiguration story ((Mark 9: 2-6) .Behold it is good for us to be here - - - but he knew not what he said. The journey is far from over. (Report) Reply

  • J. Scouler (1/14/2014 9:10:00 PM)

    To me, it seems he is talking about ones darkest hour? When our heart breaks, really breaks, death may seem like the answer. Death can seem like beautiul dark peace. As we contemplate this dark peace, it does however, occur to us that there is still much unfinished business, promises to keep, hearts we may break if we CHOOSE to sleep. (Report) Reply

  • Doruk Kaynak (1/6/2014 2:16:00 PM)

    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.
    Why shan't an individual reach the conforting state of sleep, the endless sleep which is death?
    Why do we feel like we are bound to life and we owe to existance?
    Is it because we are meant to be something more something greater?
    can we truly weave destiny?
    or are these just an illusion and our bond to life is embossed on the fabric of our creation?

    Frost is the master of hiding deep meanings in his poems and he raises a lot of questions in me. (Report) Reply

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