Monday, January 4, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

One of Robert Frost's most famous poems is "Nothing Gold Can Stay". Here follows the 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.

This poem consists of eight verses with the rhyme scheme a, a, b, b, c, c, d, d. Each verse consists of six syllables in which the stress pattern is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. The six syllables can be organized into three feet. Thus the poem is in iambic trimeter.

Robert Frost's poem is about the loss of innocence. In the first verse we read that youth is gold. However, this is only temporary because all newborns eventually change. They lose their innocence, age and die. As much as they may wish to retain their youth, they cannot.

The early leaf is a flower but it does not last long. The cycle of life is emphasized in the fifth verse. As one leaf is replaced by another, a newborn is also replaced by another. The sixth verse mentions Eden, the paradise described in the Book of Genesis. Adam and Eve, the first humans, were innocent until their act of disobedience. With this fall of innocence, the garden ceased to be a paradise.

The seventh verse uses dawn and day to depict the cycle of life and death. In the final verse, we have the title of the poem. This emphasizes that youth and innocence later fade.

Robert Frost's poem reminds us that purity and youth are not eternal. As dawn and day and the changing hues of leaves, they also change with time. Though short, the poem expresses the beauty of birth and life.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Hi I read your post and I liked what you said about the common families in the world, but what I'd liked to say is that I'm from Brazil and my surname is Zsoldos like yours...is Zsoldos a common name in Hungarian? Tnks.

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