A human life has always been one of the main subjects of heated discussions, movies, stories, poems, and so on. The phenomenon of life is so interesting and enigmatic because it reminds of a complex, sometimes insoluble, puzzle that consists of many events, emotions, people that take part in it. Robert Frost, a great American poet, lived a long life that consisted of rather sad moments, unfortunately. His life was full of grief and loss, which, of course, reflected in his literary works. This essay discusses two of many Frost's poems, "Acquainted with the night" and "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening", that express stress and gloom Frost's unfortunate life was filled with. Conducted research of the poet's world helps to find out, under what circumstances the poems were created, and to understand the poems' meanings to the full.
The poems "Acquainted with the night" and "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" share a particular set of themes that do not have very bright tones to them. First, Frost pictures bot main characters in the night. Thus, in the poem "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening," the main character stops next to the woods in "the darkest evening of the year," As Steven Monte notes in this critical essay dedicated to the poem, “by calling the evening “darkest,” the man suggests that he has reached a low point or a moment of crisis.”(?) Similarly, in "Acquainted with the night," the speaker goes for a long walk around the city in the night. The theme of the night is associated with getting closer to the end of life, running out of energy and strength as well as with depression and despair. All these motifs are seen in both poems making the reader see the connection of them to the events of the poet's dismal life.
In "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening," the theme of a night helps express the mental condition of the main character. The reader sees the travelling main character stopping his horse, because he gets magnified by the misterious and so attractive beauty of the "lovely, dark and deep" woods, inspite of the common sense that prompts that doing so is very dangerous as it can lead to freezing to death (Frost). As Donald J. Greiner suggests in his critical essay about Robert Frost, “the dark trees are as unknowable as Melville's ocean and Hawthorne's forest, and that the strongest lure in the poem is not to mundane promises but to ultimate concerns--perhaps death itself” (?). Clearly, the speaker has an unconscious death wish, which is a sign of a deep continuous depression. He finds himself "between the woods and frozen lake", in other words, far away from the vanity of the world, stresses and troubles of his life (Frost). Being alone with himself, he realizes how good it feels to be so far away, and even the possibility of death does not daunt him. Or maybe, he is so tired of his unhappy life that death seems a better option for him at the moment. Robert Frost did not deny the death meaning of the poem: “Thirty years later, when questioned about some proffered meanings of “Stopping by woods…,” he replied, “Now it’s all right; it’s out of my hands once it’s published,” which didn’t stop him from saying of its being a death-poem, “I never intended that but I did have a feeling it was loaded with ulteriority” (Burnshaw 284). Knowing the story of the author's life, it is not hard to guess that the described in the poem state has a strong connection with Frost's personal life. By the years of forty eight, and that is how old Frost was by the moment of creating "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening," the author went through many tragic, traumatic events such as untimely death of his parents, sister, wife, and four out of six of his children(Pritchard 308?). By writing “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening," he gives vent to his pain and negative emotions with the help of vivid images and expressive dark colors of a night.
The theme of a night runs all through the poem...
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