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Robert Frost's Use Of Poetic Devices In Stopping By Woods And The Road Not Taken

1421 words - 6 pages

Robert Frost was an American poet born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He was famous for his extremely realistic depictions of rural life. Many of his poems were about the themes of time passing, making memories, decisions and journeys and/or life and death. Most of his poems were set in rural areas of New England, America. In his poems ‘The Road Not Taken’ and ‘Stopping By Woods’ he uses many different poetic devices, such as: metaphors, ironic tone, rhyming stanzas and repetition to communicate his main themes of time passing, decisions and memories.
Some similar techniques used by Frost in ‘Stopping By Woods’ and ‘The Road Not Taken’ are repetition and metaphors. The continual use of metaphors in both of these poems adds a certain depth to the poems, another layer of meaning. For example, “And miles to go before I sleep.” This line is the closing line of the poem ‘Stopping By Woods’, it may seem like the persona is talking about the length he has to travel before he can rest or before he reaches his destination, but this last line is repeated. This repetition reinforces Frost’s metaphoric connotations of sleep for death, linking this to the main things the persona has to do before he dies. Similarly, metaphors are used in ‘The Road Not Taken’ also, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” is the opening line in this poem. It has special significance because it hints to the main meaning of the poem. It may seem like the persona is talking about a fork that occurred in the road that he was travelling along in autumn, but there is underlying meaning. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” shows that he had a choice about what direction to take in life, or a decision to make. This gives a deeper meaning to Frost’s poetry so that it can be understood on two different levels- the metaphorical and the literal. This way responders can take more meaning from the poem and therefore can apply it to their own life experiences.
There are a few differing techniques between these two poems including ironic tone, which is present in ‘The Road Not Taken’, and a regular metrical pattern or rhyming stanzas in ‘Stopping By Woods’. By using different technique Frost has made it possible for these poems to contrast.
‘The Road Not Taken’ has an ironic tone throughout, but it is most noticeable in the first two lines of the last stanza, “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence.” These two lines can infer that both or either choice may be wrong. They also convey a sort of reminiscent feeling, as if Frost is telling us the story that he will recall again later in life to reassure himself of the reasons why he chose the road that he did. In ‘Stopping By Woods’ the regular metrical pattern is used to create meaning within the whole poem. “Whose woods these are I think I know/His house is in the village though/He will not see me stopping here/To watch his woods fill up with snow.” This technique also adds a calming effect to the poem as it is...

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