The poem “Ghost House” by Robert Frost is a work that highlights the speaker, and possibly the author’s feelings towards death. This is achieved through the use of an eerie mood via word choice, implications of death, and imagery of a happy, yet ghostly, couple. Thus, the poem progresses in moods from first ominous, then shocking, and finally a slightly perturbing contentedness.
In the first half of “Ghost House”, word choice is used to create a somber, unsettling tone. Even innocent words take on a bleak undertone. Phrases such as “daylight falls” exemplify this with the anxiousness that is evoked with the word “falls.” Even the word “copse” begins to sound like “corpse.” This word play is important in solidifying a foreboding mood.
In particular, the use of the phrase “daylight falls” is interesting. Typically, daylight, or light in general, is viewed as a symbol of happiness and life. Frost shows his mastery of poetry when he pairs it with the word “falls,” and so the mood is darkened despite the positive connotations with light. Also, normally light is described as casting upon or brightening a place, which makes the use of “falls” slightly surprising, which adds to the feeling of uneasiness in that line. This is not the only example of eerie language acting as a dynamic in “Ghost House”.
Although this may sound like conjecture, “copse” sounding similar to “corpse” does not seem to be a coincidence. Frost is the type of poet to use subliminal messages with his word choice, and this word play illustrates that. The entire first half of the poem has a ghostly feel to it, so it is natural for the reader to read the seemingly innocent word “copse” and instantly think of a divergently more sinister, but alike in phonetics word; “corpse.” It is this kind of phrasing that acts as a facet in many of Frost’s poems, including “Ghost House.”
Another important facet of “Ghost House” is the implied cemetery setting. Apart from the obvious reference to ghosts in the title, death is mentioned throughout the poem. An example of this are the 4th and 5th lines of the 5th stanza that describe stones with names covered in moss, which clearly signifies headstones. The second and third lines of these stanzas also portray an image of a graveyard by use of the words of “mute folk,” and “share the unlit place.” The mute folk are meant to represent the dead, and that he is sharing the unlit place, perhaps a dark cemetery, with them reveals that he himself may...