Robert Frost’s Design on the Brink of Madness

Topics: Rhyme, Mind, White Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: October 22, 2008
Robert Frost’s “Design,” on the Brink of Madness.

In his poem “Design,” Robert Frost quarrels the notion that the universe may be godless and if there is a God he may very well be evil. A seeded conception to a failed divinity, a theological inquiry of design or demise, all but a spider, a plant and a moth to tell the story! Frost took great care to not cut any corners in “Design,” he reminds us that skepticism and enlightenment often arrive in pairs.

“Design” has a clever melody to the tenor; the rhyme scheme is complimentary to the text in describing the setting. “Assorted characters of death and blight Mixed ready to begin the morning right”(Kelly 473) Tying the word “blight” into this passage was perceptive, this scene is one of Frost’s vehicles, used to wither and used to decay. He was mindful about his words, it was his intention to pursue his “craft” in such a rhythmic manner. The poem is short and balanced, it is also a nice touch that Frost is “dynamic” in his narrative, we can observe as his thoughts intensify and grow as the plot un-folds.

It all seems so coincidental to Frost: a white spider holding a white moth on a white flower. The white moth thought the white heal-all was safe for its hiding but the moth was destined to be trapped, the albino spider had already made the heal-all his home. “What had that flower to do with being white?”(Kelly 473) Frost was struck by the pure irony of the event, the twisted nature and the color white, "brought the kindred spider to that height," and "steered the white moth" there all at the same time (Kelly 473). It is Frost’s curiosity that makes this poem intriguing; he feeds off of his own interpretation as he narrates the poem.

Towards the end you sense that Frost is perplexed, he is telling the story again to re-evaluate its meaning. His own questions purport answers that are appalling to him,” What but design of...
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