Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Topics: Winter solstice, Woods, The Speaker Pages: 2 (849 words) Published: August 1, 2005
The poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening", by Robert Frost, is a short, yet intricate poem. What appears to be simple is not simple at all. What appears to be innocent is really not. The woods seem pristine and unimposing, however, they are described as being "dark and deep", and it is the "darkest evening of the year". He speaks of isolation, "between the woods and frozen lake" and of duty "But I have promises to keep". And also, Frost's usage of "sleep" easily implies death. Though this poem might come off at first to be nice and peaceful, however, that peace has an underlying menace.

In the first four lines of the poem, the speaker explains that he is trespassing on someone else's land. He does not expect to be seen, because the owner lives in the village, nor does he want to be seen, because, besides being on someone else's property, it would be out of character for him to be there. He is a man of the world who has promised his time to other people, so it seems unusual that he has stopped what he's doing to watch the woods. He knows who owns which pieces of land, or thinks he does, and his speech has a sort of pleasant familiar-ness, as in just "stopping by." The speaker says, "Whose woods these are, I think I know/ His house is in the village though." He is unsure of the owner in the first line, and then in the second he says that the owner lives in the village. In the second line, he seems to say that it is a shame that the owner of the woods does not live in the woods, or that the owner should have a house in the woods. Also, the speaker makes it seem like the owner should be here with him, watching the scene of his woods in the snow.

In the next four lines, the speaker goes on to express the isolation of the woods and on the winter solstice, or "the darkest evening of the year". The speaker lays the responsibility of saying that it is strange to be her on his little horse who "must think it queer". The speaker is in isolation in the...
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