Robert Frost

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

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening - Poem by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
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Comments about Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

  • Jasmine Mahanloo (5/30/2010 3:41:00 AM)

    I don't really read poetry, but a line from this came to mind as I was brushing my teeth. I thought I'd see how the rest of the poem goes. So here's my attempt at interpretation.

    I think this poem is about entering ones private world which often does work as a temptation. In the first paragraph Frost sets this up in the absence of the owner of the woods. Yet it is not only that he is absence but that fact that the traveler is aware of it. Privacy is not only ones aloneness, but is the absence of another.

    This is continued in the next paragraph where the horse wonders at what his owner is doing. One other aspect of being alone is not being understood-to be alone in ones own mind whether this results from the lack of connection with another human or an animal.

    The last paragraph is the resistance to temptation of entering one's own world even though it has many beauties. The promises to keep are not necessarily only those to others, but to oneself. The fulfillment of promises, of life, entails action, so he resists as he has 'miles to go' before he sleeps. (Report) Reply

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  • Jyoti Bartaula Acharya (4/26/2010 6:42:00 AM)

    Dear all participants and scholars
    I am very much pleased on knowing diverse opinion and literary appreciation made up on Robert frost’s poem: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Generally, this discussion forum I found to be very good from critical perspective. My analysis is in two perspectives; one on its structure and another on its interpretation in terms of construing the subtleties: beauty of snowfall or contemplation of death of character, as under:
    My first argument is the oddity about the poem, which is its almost rhythmic chant. The rhyme scheme follows the pattern A, A, B, A (exception in last stanza) coupled with the meter, iambic tetrameter, that give the reader a sense of labored marching. This technique is odd when considered by itself. However, when it is put with other underlying subtleties, it becomes clear that Frost’s poem is not about the beauty of a snowfall, it is about the main character’s contemplation of death.
    Imagery is perhaps the second most notable element that gives credence to the subtext of death within Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. When first reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, the line, “The darkest evening of the year, ” fits well into the description of snowy evening; the stark contrast of the black night with the white snow. In spite of this, when one looks at the poem in terms of the central character’s death, the line takes on a whole new meaning. For example, for the traveling man, this night is the darkest of his life. (Report) Reply

  • Grissell M (3/30/2010 12:30:00 PM)

    As Hira Ali said, 'sleep' in the last line means death... Though this world has a lot of beauties which seduces us; all of us has a great duty in this world, to reach the sublim... the horse mentioned remember this fact, we are passengers, we should go! ! ! ! !
    It really arouses my soul (Report) Reply

  • Rachael Potts (3/11/2010 7:51:00 PM)

    this first couple times i read this poem i thought of the words and robert frost to me used alot of symbolism. that what he wrote to me compares temptation. and that the poem is talking about how he wants something a woman maybe and he's tempted by but cant bring himself to pursue what he wants and maybe he made a promise that he cant yet fulfill and he has a many things he has to do in order to keep his promise. (Report) Reply

  • Sujit Sinha Sujit Sinha (3/7/2010 7:30:00 AM)

    Thanks Gracie Rossi. I appreciate your comments. Yes, the poet indeed finds the wood lovely. He does yearn for it, no matter it is dark and wintery. May be he loves the snow too. A man's horse sense would of course not allow him to waste time in such a place. I would be overating sexuality if I agreed with Tori Thompson. (Report) Reply

  • Tori Thompson (3/1/2010 8:07:00 PM)

    I took this poem at first read to be an allusion to the contemplation of infidelity. Women can be thought of as trees: from us come alternately warmth and shade, fresh air and smoke. Passing by another man's real estate a ways away from his main place of residence could be tantamount to meeting another man's wife/woman when that man lives on the other side of town, or is out of town. His 'little horse' in want of a farmhouse could be his penis, if the author is a married/taken man himself, or his conscience, as our conscience carries us to wear we ought to go. The shaking of the bells, a crass sound compared to wind through trees and over snow drifts, could be the juxtaposition of right with temptation. After a momentary debate, the author sticks to his 'promises' and does not give in to the temptation of admiring the 'lovely, dark, and deep' woods. Sleep could be death. So the author vows to resist temptation for the duration of his marriage/relationship, till death they part. (Report) Reply

  • Akanksha Wadhavkar (2/1/2010 9:05:00 AM)

    I like poems made by Robert Frost a lot.There is some kind of emotion hidden behind every poem created by him.He was really a precious poet in the world. (Report) Reply

  • Gracie Rossi (1/6/2010 2:43:00 PM)

    The wood, to me, represents that sacred silence and peace harboured in your soul that is untainted by life and reality. The place where you long to take heed, indulge and wonder but proves too achingly difficult because the duties of life soon jolts your horse! There is no way one could remain forever in the depth and loveliness the wood provides because simply, life is too cruel. However poetry, music and art stand to remind you that the wood does exist, and is available for you when you allow yourself a respite from harsh reality...and perhaps that is enough :) thank you Mr Frost. (Report) Reply

  • Steven * (12/30/2009 4:24:00 AM)

    Dark temptation. The kind that makes the mind wonder,
    'what if I just reach out and grab.., that whirling blade of sharpened teeth;
    what if I take that lofty leap; or wade in blindly to the briney deep.

    The woods are empty, dark and deep-not a soul arround
    to record my creep-into the mist without a sound.

    The promisises that I have to keep
    are what bind me to this life so cheap
    and what stay my hand, my step, my plunge;
    postpone.., for now, my ride alone
    into the cold
    and loney peace
    that calls to me from that empty reach. (Report) Reply

  • Tim Basey (12/29/2009 5:06:00 AM)

    This poem had always been an inspiration for my son who attends Indiana University. He made a short video he adapted for youtube. If you go to that site and search for klbasey you can find his short for the Robert Frost poem 'Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening'. It is how it was meant to be read. Dark yet inspirational. As a father I was impressed. (Report) Reply

  • Steven * (12/28/2009 4:44:00 PM)

    No one knows
    what another man thinks
    or what he means by what he says.
    ...unless he is here to tell you.

    Often though, even when he is
    he cannot himself
    remember clear
    the meaning of the mood
    that chose his words or
    drove his pen
    to create the thing that moves you.

    The poet seeks
    to convey a thing
    a thought, a mood, a glint of light
    that elludes the telling, clear and plain
    in a way that stirs
    the readers mind
    to think a thing
    and know a thought;
    to feel a mood, and see a sight.

    what this poem is about is as different in my heart and yours
    as are the divergent paths trodden-by you and me-in the getting here and in the going there.....

    Steven (Report) Reply

  • Rufus Foshee (12/20/2009 7:32:00 PM)

    My professor taught us the meaning of this poem... it's about art (imagination) and reality... Sheila Marie Anunciacion

    How could any art be about anything other?

    rufus foshee (Report) Reply

  • Sujit Sinha Sujit Sinha (11/22/2009 7:15:00 AM)

    Adding to Shiela - the fact that the horse finds it queer and thinks that his master is in a mistake by stopping, acts as a good pointer to the poet's troubled state of mind. The poet also seems relieved that the owner will not see him stop. It is a sad poem but inspirational too. (Report) Reply

  • Shiela Marie Anunciacion Shiela Marie Anunciacion (11/9/2009 1:02:00 PM)

    We've studied this poem in our World Literature course...

    First, i took the whole poem literally; however, after re-reading it again for at least three times, i saw his meaning. and it is quite beautiful.

    My professor taught us the meaning of this poem... it's about art (imagination) and reality...

    in my own conclusion, it means that even though art can set us free from the harsh reality of life... we still have to come back and realize that we are still living and though reality hurts we must face if even if we have to travel miles to reach our goal...

    ^_^ it's a little deep for a poem that looks, at first glance, made for children rhymes...
    and I didn't mean it as a criticism, it is meant as a compliment because it could express this much using simple words and imagism... ^_^ (Report) Reply

  • Jimmy Wrangler (9/26/2009 8:22:00 AM)

    It is because of work like this that people are still reading Robert Frost today. Excellent piece of work. We should all be able to do so much with so little. (Report) Reply

  • Aarshi Jais (9/7/2009 12:58:00 AM)

    this is my favourite poem that i learnt during my school days. i have been searching for it from many days n now i got it. thanks. I LUV IT........ (Report) Reply

  • Seema Joglekar (8/17/2009 2:00:00 AM)

    The poor man did'nt
    reach his destination
    of that much
    I am sure,
    and so did the poet. (Report) Reply

  • Annabel Sheila (8/13/2009 1:55:00 PM)

    This is my favourite Robert Frost poem! I memorized it the first time I heard's been with me for twenty years or more. The lyrical flow is beautiful as is the imagery. (Report) Reply

  • Andrew Hoellering (6/24/2009 3:52:00 PM)

    One has to read the poem out loud to experience the magic of its cadences.(c.f. W. H. Auden's definition of poetry as memorable speech.)
    Frost says he repeated the last line because he couldn't think of any other.Clearly he also recognised that there was no need for any other.
    The statement in the last verse is that beauty is compelling and he would love to linger, but he has work to do.
    'Sleep' may refer to nightime sleep, or the more lasting sleep of death. (Report) Reply

  • Vance Freeman (5/27/2009 9:36:00 AM)

    What a marvellous piece of poetic justice. (Report) Reply

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