Robert Frost

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

"In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design - Poem by Robert Frost

A dented spider like a snow drop white
On a white Heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of lifeless satin cloth -
Saw ever curious eye so strange a sight? -
Portent in little, assorted death and blight
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth? -
The beady spider, the flower like a froth,
And the moth carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The blue prunella every child's delight.
What brought the kindred spider to that height?
(Make we no thesis of the miller's plight.)
What but design of darkness and of night?
Design, design! Do I use the word aright?


Anonymous submission.


Comments about "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design by Robert Frost

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (3/31/2018 10:14:00 PM)


    What but design of darkness and of night?
    Design, design! Do I use the word aright?
    Nature's design beautifully portrayed by Robert frost
    (Report) Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (3/31/2018 10:17:00 AM)


    To Frost’s closing question, we might debate. What stands out to me most in this poem is the great, the vivid, description. Of this sort, in my own work, is the poem Choices. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/31/2018 4:05:00 AM)


    The beady spider! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/31/2018 3:22:00 AM)


    Such a splendid poem by Robert Frost👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (3/31/2018 2:55:00 AM)


    Portent in little, assorted death and blight, wisely penned by Robert Frost (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (3/31/2018 1:47:00 AM)


    White snow like a dented spider holds an amazing moth. White flower delights the child's mind. White colour has great importance and gives us pure perceptions. A rich imagery is drawn in this poem. This is definitely an outstanding poem...10 (Report) Reply

  • Dr Dillip K Swain (12/5/2017 3:58:00 AM)


    Astounding flow and elocution embellished in subtle poetic rhyme what makes it different from an ordinary poem! (Report) Reply

  • Rogelio Guillermo (10/26/2017 6:57:00 AM)


    Everything by design... (Report) Reply

  • Mark Arvizu (12/22/2014 8:57:00 AM)


    It was designed that way........ (Report) Reply

  • Akanksha Bhatt (6/4/2014 7:16:00 AM)


    this is really a good poem.. I like it.. (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Fuzan (4/27/2014 8:57:00 AM)


    This Is a good poem (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 2:49:00 AM)


    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

  • Cat Hodgson (6/18/2013 10:01:00 AM)


    I liked the question at the end of this poem.. Life is a plot... Cat (Report) Reply

  • Cat Hodgson (6/18/2013 10:01:00 AM)


    I liked the question at the end of this poem.. Life is a plot... Cat (Report) Reply

  • Sarah Mcrae (6/13/2013 7:07:00 PM)


    a lovely refreshing-type poem (Report) Reply

  • (5/26/2013 11:29:00 PM)


    Oh, how I love Robert Frost and his unique flow and wording of his poems. Beautiful, as always. (Report) Reply

  • William Kd (3/10/2013 5:14:00 PM)


    Positively Design.: -) (Report) Reply

  • (10/5/2012 5:13:00 PM)


    wow did a Bing search on Heal-all, saw pictures it is a beautiful plant..this created better visuals and made the poem more beautiful..thanks (Report) Reply

  • (2/25/2009 3:16:00 AM)


    Frost’s brilliance emerges in the difference between this and the final version. In Design he changes the first line to ‘I found a dimpled spider, fat and white.’
    ‘Lifeless’ becomes ‘vivid’(L.3) and the fourth line ‘Assorted characters of death and blight.’ ‘Snow-drop’ replaces ‘beady’ in L.7, and the 8th line now reads ‘And dead wings carried like a paper kite.’
    Each substitution is more realistic, convincing and ominous, foreshadowing Design’s conclusion:
    What brought the kindred spider to that height,
    Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
    What but design of darkness to appal? -
    If design govern in a thing so small.
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: flower, snow, child, death, night, children



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 2, 2014


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