Both Robert Frost and Edward Thomas use the idea of searching as a main theme in their poems and this is shown in both ‘For Once, then, Something’ and ‘The Glory’.
In Frost’s poem, the main subject is about Frost or the narrator of the poem, looking down into a well, while others taunt him. He looks into the well, and sees his own reflection in the water below, but hopes to find something beyond his reflection, something, anything that could give him peace of mind, “I discerned as I thought beyond the picture… and then I lost it.” ‘The Glory’ however is about one man’s self doubt, and wondering about what ‘glory’ actually is. He looks into himself, and cannot find glory, and therefore looks to nature, “The glory of the beauty of the morning”.
‘For Once, then, Something’ is a sonnet, although it isn’t a sonnet in the usual sense. It contains fifteen lines as opposed to fourteen. It’s also written in iambic pentameter but consists of eleven syllables in each line, instead of ten. This irregularity in sentence and structure could possibly be connected with the fact that Frost is trying to emphasise the theme of seeing beyond everyday life and concentrating on the bigger picture, “As I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture/Through the picture…”. ‘The Glory’ is written in one large stanza consisting of twenty-eight lines. This could possibly highlight the length of time it is taking the speaker to search for glory.
‘For Once, then, Something’ contains no rhyme scheme whatsoever, and this is possibly due to the fact that the speaker is unable to find ‘the bigger picture’ by peering into the well, “Others taunt me with having, knelt at well-curbs/Always wrong to the light.” This is unusual because Frost was a very lyrical poet, and the intentional absence of a rhyme scheme backs up the idea of searching. ‘The Glory’, despite the fact it is extremely irregular, does have a loose rhyme scheme, with rhyming words occurring ever three or four lines, for example, ABCA. Yet the only line in the poem not to contain any form of rhyme is “In hope to find whatever it is I seek.” This could signify the fact that his search for glory is incomplete, and therefore does not contain rhyme.
Frost includes a reference to ‘kneeling’ at the side of the well. This suggests that there could be a religious reason for his actions. The words ‘heaven’ and ‘godlike’ imply this. Thomas’ use of the word ‘glory’ in the title also suggests a religious poem, and references to heaven and hell back this up, “Shall I now this day/Begin to seek as far as heaven, as hell…”
Both poems contain a caesura, i.e. a full stop in the middle of the poem, or halfway through a line.
The theme of the poem is about searching. But one poem, ‘For Once, then,...