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Poem - Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

            American Poet Robert Frost's well-known poem, "Stopping by Woods in the Snowy Evening," relates the story of man riding alone in the wood in a horse-drawn sleigh on a snowy evening as he reflects on his life. He rests a moment to take in the silent solitude, except for the sound of the wind and beauty of nature. Dendinger, in his extensive commentary on Frost, views him as a descriptive natural poet who calmly surveys and sweetly portrays and innocent pastoral world (19). Moreover, he illustrates the strong visual imagery in line seven, such as the frigid winter scene and the frozen lake. At first reading, on the surface the poem's message is simply a man's journey in the countryside. However, the speaker's deeper thoughts are triggered when he questions his life's purpose, including his future expectations and obligations to society. He is tempted to remain in this rural environment but, in the end, decides to move on. The theme's significance is clear, which is, the implicit epiphany or sudden realization that his life is half over and lacks meaning; the conflict is to decide whether to remain in the woods or re-enter the strange opposing world with its many responsibilities. .
             The first verse simply introduces the setting. The narrator mentions that the farmer's house in the village cannot be seen so he is completely alone, contemplating the scene's tranquility. The following verse relates to the horse, his only connection with the outside world. He is alone except for his horse. Frost gives him human thoughts. He writes, "My little horse must think it queer, to stop without a farmhouse near." The poet continues, "The darkest evening of the year" which refers to his thought-provoking mood, deep in thought; perhaps he is thinking about his future and the darkness of his soul. The speaker questions the possibility of a mistake as he continues to drive his horse forward and says, "He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake The only other sounds the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake" (Frost 9-12).

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