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Poetry of Robert Frost  

2011-01-10 19:58:45|  分类: 诗歌欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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  An Introductory Guide to Analyzing Frost’s Poems 

        American poet Robert Frost uses imagery, metaphor, and theme to create meaning in his poetry.

 Many people dislike or even fear poetry because it can be difficult to figure out. This is understandable, especially when bombarded by terms like syntax, assonance, and iambic pentameter. Poetry does not have to be intimidating, however. Carefully reading the poems of a masterful yet accessible poet like Robert Frost can lead to a better understanding and appreciation of poetry in general. Some basic elements of Frost’s poetry are imagery, metaphor, and theme.

 Nature Imagery

Imagery, which is the use of words that call to mind sensory experiences, is important to Frost. Much of Frost’s imagery deals with nature, which he uses to represent the feelings of the speakers in his poems. A good example of this can be found in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” in which the darkness, snow, and isolation of the woods reveal the same qualities of mystery in the speaker.

 The Use of Metaphor

In order to richly describe a feeling or explain a situation, Frost builds upon the use of imagery to create compelling metaphors in his poetry. One of the greatest examples of the use of metaphor is in Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”:

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

In this poem, there is still the characteristic use of nature imagery, but deeper meaning is found by analyzing the metaphors. The two metaphors in this poem are the first line, “Nature’s first green is gold” and the third line, “Her early leaf’s a flower.”

 Literally, the “first green” of nature would not necessarily be the color “gold.” Instead, it could mean that the early stages of nature are valuable and precious. “Her early leaf’s a flower” is also not literally true, but it suggests something delicate and beautiful. The last line of this poem shows the true meaning of these metaphors: “Nothing gold can stay.” In other words, anything young, pure, and delicate cannot remain that way.

 Themes

Themes can, of course, be interpreted in different ways, and there are numerous themes in Frost’s poetry. Examples of three of the most common themes in Frost’s poems are nature, isolation, and the struggles of life.

 The nature theme runs through Frost’s work because he seems to use nature as a way of understanding life, and he often uses nature to explain the emotions of humans. Other Frost poems that use nature in this way are “Desert Places” and “The Road Not Taken,” which is one of Frost’s most well-know works.

 Closely related to the nature theme is the theme of isolation. Many of Frost’s poems take place in an isolated setting within nature. However, even Frost’s poems that do not take place out in the woods tend to deal with a speaker being alienated from the rest of society. See “Acquainted with the Night” for an example of this.

 The struggles of life are seen prominently in Frost’s poems, as well. Frost was no stranger to hardship in his own life, and it is clear that he contemplated the difficulties of growing up, finding one’s place in the world, and handling obligations. This theme runs through Frost poems such as “Out, Out—” and “Birches.”

 Robert Frost’s poems may seem “easy” to figure out, but they have a great deal of depth to them when carefully considered. This accessibility and richness of meaning makes Frost one of the most celebrated American poets.

 

  May 21, 2009 Jeris Swanhorst

 http://www.suite101.com/content/understanding-the-poetry-of-robert-frost-a119292

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