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Topics: Poetry, Rhyme
There are two similarities in content between the two poems by Robert Frost.

First of all, the two poems are describing farm work on the surface, but then reveal that Frost has to fulfill responsibilities in poetic creation and his writing career. In ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”, the wood (L13) is portrayed as a dark and deep attraction to draw the speaker away from its promises and responsibilities in real life. Resting too long in the wood in the darkest evening of the year (L8) is dangerous because the traveler may lose one’s way and freeze. As this idea being applied to Frost’s writing career, Frost is being drawn to wildness and darkness in life and forgets about his responsibilities of writing poems. In ‘Gathering Leaves’, “but a crop is a crop” (L22) has two levels of interpretation. The first “crop” refers to the gathered leaves and harvested crops while the second “crop” refers to reward and value. This suggests that the value lies in the effort of gathering leaves. As for Frost’s poetic creations, the effort in gathering ideas is its own value. He confirms his value in poetic creations and finds his motivations to carry on.

Moreover, the two poems have stated that Frost has to go on with his life and work hard to fulfill his responsibilities in life and work. In ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, “I have promises to keep” (L14) refers to Frost who has to keep his promises to fulfill responsibilities in real life. Also, “miles to go before I sleep” (L15-L16) has two levels of meaning. On the surface, it means that Frost still has a long way to cross the woods before he can rest. Frost deep down wants to express that he has a long journey before his death. In ‘Gathering Leaves’, “and who’s to say where the harvest shall stop?” (L23-L24) is a rhetorical question which is used to show that the harvest shouldn’t stop. It symbolizes Frost’s work as a poet. It tells that Frost should not stop but get on with his job and collect ideas for his writing instead to fulfill his responsibilities as a poet.

Next, I’m going to discuss about the three differences in content between the two poems by Robert Frost.

Firstly, the durations of the two actions, stopping by woods and harvesting, are different. For ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, Frost is just attracted by the nature and stop by the woods to observe the beauty of the nature. He will soon leave and continue his journey in life to fulfill his responsibilities of writing. However, for ‘Gathering Leaves’, it is a continuous working routine. It symbolizes the repeating routine of writing, including gathering ideas and poetic creations. Frost won’t stop because he knows that he has to get on with his life as a poet.

Secondly, the reasons to go on are different in the two poems. In ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, it is said that Frost has miles to go before he sleeps (L15-L16) which indicates that he has to continue his journey in life to fulfill his responsibilities. In ‘Gathering Leaves’, Frost is frustrated and questions about the reward and value of his hard work in L16. “But a crop is a crop” (L22) suggests the value of gathering leaves lies in the effort itself. Therefore Frost carries on with his journey because he finds it rewarding.

Thirdly, the emotions throughout the two poems differ. In ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, the repetition of “and miles to go before I sleep” in L15 and L16 suggests a tired tone of the speaker. However, Frost has to go on to fulfill his responsibilities and resist the attraction from the darkness. As in ‘Gathering Leaves’, “but a crop is a crop” (L22) suggests a determined tone of the speaker since he knows the he can get the reward by putting effort in gathering ideas for writing.

To discuss about the similarities in form between the two poems, there are two.

To begin with, the two poems are quatrains. They have regular patterns which suggest that Frost has to take regular steps to move on the journey. Also this indicates the routine tasks of the writer as a poet.

Besides, the two poems used the poetic device of enjambment. In ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, the use of enjambment suggests that Frost goes on with his journey as a poet. While in ‘Gathering Leaves’, it suggests the continuous routine tasks of gathering ideas as a poet and also the movements of light leaves when they try to escape from the catch of Frost.

Lastly, there are also two differences in form between the two poems.

First here comes with the rhyming scheme. For ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’, the rhyming scheme is AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD. The third line of each stanza cues the rhyme for the next stanza except for the fourth stanza. It is used to suggest the continuous journey that the poet needs to take while in the fourth stanza it is used to emphasize that the poet has to go on with his journey. For ‘Gathering Leaves’, the rhyming scheme is ABAB CDED FGHG etc. The last word on the second line rhymes with the last word on the fourth line in each stanza. This suggests the continuous routine tasks of a poet again.

In addition, the lengths of line and rhythms are different. ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ has longer lines and the rhythm is comparatively slower. It is because Frost enjoys admiring nature and he is not rushing through his journey. For ‘Gathering Leaves’, it has a faster rhythm and the lines are shorter. It is use to mimic the movements of leaves. The leaves are very light in weight. Hey keep escaping and running away fast.

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