Friday, November 6, 2009

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a title of a famous poem by the American Robert Frost. It is a poem about nature and social responsibility. Here follows the poem.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Each verse consists of eight syllables which can be divided into four feet. Each foot consists of weak stress followed by strong. Thus the poem is written in iambic tetrameter. The rhyme scheme of the poem is a, a, b, a, b, b, c, b, c, c, d, c, d, d, d, d. In the last stanza we do not have the expected d, d, e, d but rather d, d, d, d.

The poem has images of winter. They include the references to the darkest evening of the year, the frozen lake and snow. The horse is surprised to be deep in the woods, far from the village. However, the rider is happy to take a break from his regular life and enjoy the nature all around him. He wishes to remain in the woods longer but acknowledges that he has social responsibilities in the verse "But I have promises to keep".

The poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a powerful poem about nature and duty. The narrator enjoys the tranquillity of the woods and the break which they provide him from his daily life. By reading the poem, one senses that Robert Frost had a very strong attachment to both nature and horses.

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