Miles to Go Before I Sleep

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“And miles to go before I sleep”
My favorite line from “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” written by Robert Frost is “And miles to go before I sleep” (15). When I first read this poem, I thought it was about a man who is stopping in the woods, around Christmas time, and I thought that it was a peaceful, joyful poem. However, when I reread it, I realized that there was a second meaning underneath the surface. It is not as peaceful and joyful as it first appeared, and that the narrator was actually walking towards death, and that he actually wanted to die.

When I first read the poem I thought that the line “And miles to go before I sleep” (15) meant that the narrator has long distance to travel, before he reaches his destination. However earlier in the poem he describes “The woods are lovely, dark and deep” (13). I believe that the line “and miles to go before I sleep” (15) has a second meaning. It is that the word sleep symbolizes death, and the miles to go, is that he has many things to do before he can die. It appears that the narrator wants to die by the tone in his voice from the line “And miles to go before I sleep” (15). It sounds as if he is complaining about what he needs to do before he “sleeps”. It is as if he just wants to die right then. Even though he stops in the woods, he realizes that he must keep on moving, get back on the path to get to his final destination, which is death. My initial image when I read this poem was a cheerful snowy woods when the holidays are coming, and everyone is happy. I thought of families rejoicing and celebrating happy times. However, after rereading it, I realized that the poem is about death and how the narrator is considering that death may be better than life.
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