The Great In and Out Doors
(An Analysis of Robert Frost’s Use of Natural and Rural Depictions in his Poetry)
Edward Abbey once stated: “Water, water, water....There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.” Through poems such as Birches, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Mending Wall, Out, Out--, Acquainted with the Night, and The Gift Outright Frost uses an amazing capacity of human intellect to personify the areas of living. Whether it be nature or rural, both are celebrated. Robert Frost uses his poetry to celebrate, compare, and contrast the beauty of nature and rural living.
Throughout Frost’s poetry he draws upon the beauty of nature to build up vast amounts of scenery. “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.” (Plath). Sylvia Plath was on the same track as Frost, nature sustains life. Both believe that the beauty of nature gives energy to those in it and the poetry it inspires. Examples of this can be found in Birches. Frost metaphorically re awakes his childhood when he takes a stroll outside to see the trees he once swung from. From my own experience, I know that the cool spring breeze makes me feel a whole lot better about life. Nature has the ability to reawaken one’s inner youth.
To contrast from nature, Frost also uses the integration of industrialized rural life.“It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.” (Doyle). Through this quote one can conclude that Doyle thought that no matter how dirty a city can be, it is not above a rural countryside. A fine example of this thought is shown in Frost’s Out, Out--. Often times people tend to think that rural areas are blissful, violence free settings as compared to the inner workings of a city. Large cities may have their faults with crime and such, but there is more that goes unknown and unpunished in these underpopulated areas. In the poem a young boy passes away, yet nobody points the finger of blame. Do you blame the parents for putting him on a machine, or do you punish them for trying...