Analysis of Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
The poem, “Stopping by Woods…” speaks of a time that the author paused during a trip to simply enjoy the quiet and beauty of nature. During this short stop, he contemplates mortality and his life so far. Frost also cleverly uses the poems form and sounds to enhance the poem, to entice the readers senses, and immerse them in the scene.
With repetitive “s” and “h” sounds throughout the poem one can imagine the sound of the sled sliding through the snow, or perhaps the “easy wind and downy flake” through the trees. The poem was written in iambic tetrameter, which also lends a steady rhythm that mimics the motion of the sled. Or perhaps the “s” sound could signify that the main character is shivering, for it is the “darkest evening of the year”, and presumably the coldest.
The last two lines of the poem, “And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep” seem to echo each other. Why did Frost repeat this phrase when one occurrence would be sufficient? The first “And miles” quite literally tells of the distance the character in the poem has to travel. But the second may possibly refer to the time left before his death? Frost uses a common metaphor for death, referring instead to it as “sleep”. This man is contemplating his life so far and his life yet to come. He seems to have a long time left to live.
Animals usually know when their owner is feeling out of sorts, and this is mentioned in the poem, “He gives his harness bells a shake | To ask as if there is some mistake.” The horse knows that something is wrong “thinks it queer”. This interruption in the form of the jingle of the bells seems to snap the man out of his gloomy mood, and the thought that he has “promises to keep”. He has too much left in life to accomplish.
The narrator has become lost in the beauty of the woods and in his own...