Stopping by on a Snowy Evening

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Choose a poem in which the creation of mood or atmosphere is an important feature. Show how the poet creates the mood or atmosphere, and discuss its importance in your appreciation of the poem as a whole. A reflective mood is created in the poem stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost. The poem is about man who stops by some woods on a snowy evening. He takes in the lovely scene in near silence and is tempted to stay for longer but acknowledges the obligations he must keep. He also mentions the distance he faces before he can to sleep which by the language used in the poem ‘sleep’ actually suggests death. At first the poem gives the impression that it is simply describing a man who is on a journey and quietly stops to observe the winter weather but through the writer’s techniques of word choice and structure. It becomes apparent that the poem is about his inner feelings towards the place rather than just a description. The mystery surrounding this quiet place causes the poet to stop and reflect on his life. The quiet or reflective mood of the poem is set firstly, by its simple verse structure and close rhyming scheme. The poem has a gentle rhythm almost like a nursery rhyme even stresses on each line and the a,a,b,a rhyming scheme creates a very relaxed atmosphere. This is reinforced by the poet’s use of literally simple words throughout the poem and short, simple sentences. On the surface the poem seems to be simple but the connotations of the words are actually quite complex. The weather and timing of this stop are both significant. It is snowing heavily, with ‘the woods filling up with snow’. This creates an image of the poet losing his tracks and becoming covered in a blanket implying that he wishes to rest here subtly suggestion death. The fact that the poet stops here on the ‘darkest day of the year’ (the day with least hours of sunlight) seems to reflect the poet’s mood of darkness. The poem develops elements of oddness about the poet...
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