April 19, 2010
Imagery in Robert Frost’s “Desert Places”
Robert Frost, an American poet of the late 19th century, used nature in many of his writings. One of the great examples is the poem “Desert Places” that express feelings of a speaker and the meaning of the entire poem through images of nature. The poem describes two different kinds of desert places and clearly emphasizes the most frightening one. To help readers understand the meaning of “Desert Places”, Frost uses variety of images to create the specific atmosphere and revile the theme. In the first stanza, the narrator is traveling through the fields covered with snow without stopping. The images of coming evening and falling snow are masterly combined to create the atmosphere of isolation and loneliness. The readers can feel that the narrator does not enjoy his trip. Nothing here makes this snowfall attractive. Snow covers all the objects around like a white blanket that hides the ground, trees, and grass. Finally, there is nothing here just “a few weeds and stubble”. The narrator who is trying to find an escape in nature only faces the greater isolation and a concrete blankness of space. He sees no more than “desert places” around him. The second stanza continues to elicit feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. The narrator states that “the wood around it have it”. It means that the fields, the ground and the entire evening belong to the wood. The speaker has no desire to take it from them because he feels too apathetic and “too absent-spirited to count”. The following line emphasizes the narrator’s indifference by using ambiguously the word “unaware”, which could be about “loneliness” or about “me”. Therefore, the readers can feel the narrator’s apathy and carelessness that make them question not just his mood (how depressed he is?), but also his state of mind. Is the “absent-spirited” means absent-minded? In the third stanza, the poet again...
Cited: Frost, Robert. “Desert Places.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. Fourth Compact Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2008. 665Print.
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