Robert Frost's Desert Places
One of the most monumental poetic works of T.S Eliot is ‘The Waste Land’. The poem emerges as a gigantic metaphor for melancholy, loneliness, solitude- the unavoidable companions of human existence. Similar kinds of feelings are evoked by Robert Frost in ‘Desert Places’.
The very title is suggestive of a mood of emptiness. Throughout our life we cross various deserts to find our destiny. The beauty of the poem lies in the conjunction – the meeting point desert outside in the nature with the desert inside. This becomes the focal point of the poem. The dreary opening is indicated by the falling snow and the advancing night. The poet observes the scenario as the snow blankets the earth and the darkness descends on the whole scene. Two factors which play an important role in the dawning of the mood are snow and night.
The falling snow soon covers the irregular jagged surface of the earth and this visual scene is gradually overwhelming the senses and sensitivity as the mind is going in a state of numbness. In such a state of numbness one becomes concerned and confined with ones own self. The poet is trying to find refuge in the lap of nature but the cold whiffs of night seals out his approach. The falling snow has further aggravated the chances of his meeting with nature.
‘I’ shows the approach towards nature slowing down and caving in one’s own self. The poet traces his steps back to his memories for some warmth in this snowy landscape. But this walk down the memory lane also fails to provide him with the warmth he seeks. This reference appears as the first romantic touch yielded by his imagination. The poet expresses his inability to associate with the present and his inability to draw warmth from the past memories. Those memories which are like ‘a few weeds and stubble showing last’. ‘Stubble’ shows an element of stubbornness as the memories keep on protruding on his conscious mind. The desire to reach out to these past moments, to reopen the mind of the poet. In the first stanza the nature with its tormenting lashes and been associated.
Now the poet finally gives to the whole scene. The ‘tiny’ man feels shrouded by the layers of snow. The lonesome man crystallizes his loneliness in this snowy covering.
Such is the impact of the natural cohesiveness that the poet, as he observes the natural panorama, regards himself as an intruder in this unit. The poet relishes the pleasure that the animals are having as they crouch in their lairs, becoming a part of the nature. The animals manage to...