Robert Frost is generally viewed as a poet of nature, content to describe milkweed and apple-picking. In fact, much of his fame is based solely on his status as a "folk philosopher." Yet, when his poems are analyzed in depth, it becomes apparent that his views on nature are quite complex, much more so than what is usually seen.
Frost had a love-hate relationship with Mother Nature. In his personal life, he reveled in the simple joys of farming and being in touch with the earth. However, what he saw on the underside of nature disturbed him. It is a true study in contrasts. During the time he spent farming in Derry, New Hampshire, working in the fields might have brought him some of the most peaceful moments of his life. Yet, when he turned away from his chores, he realized his world was crumbling around him. His family members grew sick, his child died and, consequently, his marriage grew more distant. As reflective of his personal life, he saw nature as beautiful and full of hope, yet also random and chaotic.
To a large extent, this contrast is displayed in his writing. In single volumes of his work, poems of nature's warmth and grace are mere pages away from descriptions of nature's savagery. It is in his writing, though, where he finds a stable middle ground between the extremes.
One piece in which he extols the beauty of the earth is "Two Tramps in Mud Time." The theme of the poem is that man should follow his heart, leading him to do what he loves best. In the piece, the theme is symbolized by a man chopping wood. Although he may not be the best at what he does, he does what he loves best. The electricity of nature flows through him every time he swings the ax, and that is all that counts. The poem is clearly an autobiographical sentiment.
Another of nature's virtues is represented in "Choose Some thing Like a Star." The strength of nature and the universe is exemplified by the eternal vigilance of the star. Nature can be strong, even when man is...
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