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

"In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design

Rating: 3.2


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 OF THE POEM
Andrew Hoellering 25 February 2009

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.

85 78 Reply
M Asim Nehal 04 October 2018

I agree with your views.......................

0 0 Reply
* Sunprincess * 05 October 2012

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

67 64 Reply
William Kd 10 March 2013

Positively Design.: -)

46 49 Reply
Gabby J 26 May 2013

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

43 39 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 20 May 2021

Once again: Congratulations on being chosen as The Modern Poem Of The Day! A finest poem about natural Design

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 20 May 2021

A very cozy poem by Robert Frost, so loveliest put into poem,5 Stars for this cute poem, crystal clearly conveyed. I have enjoyed enormously. Congratulations for the nearest of kin of Robert Frost. A beautiful Design.

1 0 Reply
Ayoade 07 July 2020

Nice poem Keep inking

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 31 March 2020

What had that flower to do with being white, The blue prunella every child's delight. What brought the kindred spider to that height? the design of the darkness of night.... wonderful. tony

1 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 31 March 2020

That's life, that's nature. A well written poem by Robert Frost the great observer of nature.

1 0 Reply
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