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Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay  

2011-05-06 20:30:02|  分类: 诗歌欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay - 兔灰灰 - 兔灰灰的小窝
 
Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay - 兔灰灰 - 兔灰灰的小窝 
 
Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay - 兔灰灰 - 兔灰灰的小窝
 
Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay - 兔灰灰 - 兔灰灰的小窝
 

 The Changing of the Seasons and the Beauty of Spring
Oct 20, 2007
Elizabeth Gregory

Most of us have our own favourite season, whether it be the golden leaves of autumn or the balmy evenings of summer. For Frost, the peak of the year seems to be spring.

The poem begins with a statement: “Nature’s first green is gold”. The end-stopped line forces us to stop and consider what exactly the speaker means by this: a casual reading may lead us to the conclusion that the gold here must be autumn, reflecting the colours of the falling leaves.


Spring has Sprung

However, we realise that the season here is spring: “first green” with its connotations of youth and freshness. The “gold” could have a literal meaning, referring to a type of tree such as the Aureum, which has gold coloured leaves in spring, but it could also connote the precious nature of spring’s first blooms. This seems particularly apt considering that the next three lines stress how quickly the first flush of spring comes and goes:

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

The use of alliteration in the second line of the poem produces a harsh sound when read aloud, perhaps suggesting the futility of the task of attempting to hold onto the beauty of spring, and the lexical choice “only” emphasises the brevity of the first delicate growth.


All Downhill from Now On?

The next three lines build upon the negative tone thus established:

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

The speaker has used three different verbs in these lines which all mean the same thing – “subsides”, “sank” and “goes down” all combine to produce an idea of unstoppable and inevitable decline. Those familiar with the biblical story of the Garden of Eden will recognise the parallel here: Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden paradise, but such perfection could not last, just as the beauty of spring is soon gone.

Line seven seems contradictory on first reading: surely dawn rises to start a new day full of promise? Not for the speaker. The fact that dawn “goes down” to day indicates that for him, the dawn is the peak of the day, a few moments of untouched brilliance before the rest of the day heads downhill. Again, the parallels with spring are clear: the rest of the year can never match up.


Causes for Optimism

So far, then, the tone of the poem appears negative and rather depressing. However, the structure of the poem suggests optimism: the final line of the poem, “Nothing gold can stay”, is the same as the title, giving the poem a cyclical nature as we are brought back to our starting point. The poem is one short stanza, made up from four sets of rhyming couplets which may represent the four seasons, and this suggests that its contents represent one calendar year.

In other words, spring may be brief, but we only have to patient and nature will renew itself and come around again.


http://www.suite101.com/content/frosts-nothing-gold-can-stay-a33743


 

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