Robert Frost

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In each of his poems, Robert Frost uses multiple stylistic devices and figurative language to convey certain theme, mostly having to do with nature, that ultimately show his modernist style and modernist views on life. In the poem “Mowing,” the speaker of the poem is mowing his field trying to make grass. While doing this, he ponders the sound that his scythe is trying to “whisper” (Frost 26). The poem is organized into two sections: an octet and a sextet. In the octet, Frost mainly focuses on the sound that the scythe is trying to make by using personification of the scythe. The speaker, in the first part, is trying to describe the “whispering of the scythe” (26) as something very abstract and imaginative. However, in the sextet, he completely rejects any idea that is something abstract like “heat” or “silence,” or that it is anything imaginary, such as “elves” (26). At this point in the poem, Frost focuses purely on fact and the reality of the labor of mowing. This realism is shown throughout the whole poem as the scythe represents reality because it is making things healthy and making them grow, much like the labor of love. It is rewarding after hard work is put into it, but it is just merely work. Nothing more, nothing figurative or imaginative or extraordinary. Working in farmland and putting in hard labor is something that is very humble and real, not dream-like or fantasy-like. Frost also uses alliteration with words such as “love” and “laid,” and “feeble” and “flowers” (26). Additionally, Frost uses internal rhyme throughout the poem as in “sound” and “ground” (26). Also, there is a swinging back and forth of words such as “What was it it whispered…perhaps it was something…something perhaps” (26). By using alliteration, internal rhyme, the repetition of the words “scythe” and “whisper” (26), and the words that seem to swing back and forth in the poem, Frost creates a very pleasant sound in the poem and also mimics the sound of mowing using a scythe and its motions. This give the reader the perspective of the farm worker, and therefore the reader more easily understands the hard labor that the worker is doing. Frost’s ultimate message is that the realities of work and labor do not need to be changed with willful imagination but should be embraced through actions with fact and reality. However, by stating that the farm worker “leaves the hay” hoping that it will make grass conveys the idea that even with hard work, sometimes the outcome is not in the hand of the worker, just as in the labor of love, it sometimes is no longer in the hands of the laborer. Not only does this poem reinforce Frost’s love for nature and solitude from society with the images of farms and farm workers, but the focus on fact and reality also reinforce his modernist beliefs that go against the tradition with trying to find a figurative and imaginative meaning to everything rather than just seeing it as it is. Frost’s poem “Mending Wall” consists of a large stone wall separating the speaker’s property from his neighbor’s property. The speaker goes with his neighbor to mend the wall after nature and hunters and such have caused it to begin to break down. During this mending of the wall, the speaker confesses that he believes that the wall is there for no real reason because there are no cows to be kept it, only pine trees and that it should be brought down. However, the neighbor refuses to do so. The two men have built a barrier between themselves out of habit and traditions in society that teach privacy and segregation are best. Even though the earth conspires against this idea and wears down the wall, the mean persist on keeping the separation regardless of its pointlessness and incoherence with nature. Frost creates a lot of irony in this poem because the speaker goes to confess his desire to tear down the segregating wall, he is also doing it by calling on his neighbor to help him mend the very thing he is trying to take down, Therefore,...
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