Part B: Poem Analysis – The Draft Horse Emma Tan.
Robert Frost, author of The Draft Horse wrote this poem in the early to mid-1920's. He's been known for many acclaimed poems that pose complex philosophical, and societal questions about human nature, or ethical issues. A well-known example is his work in The Draft Horse: a narrative poem that at a first glance, is simply about a random act of violence where two people travelling through "a pitch-dark limitless grove" (4) are suddenly approached by an unknown man who "came out of the trees took our horse by the head [and] deliberately stabbed him dead." (5-8) The abnormality and eerily calm ambience about this poem is almost deliberate; so when you take a first look it over its' form, structure and language it deftly composes a simplistic poem with nothing out of place – complete with no apparent literary devices that the reader would have trouble comprehending. This is the key factor which makes this poem stand out from the rest – because of its open nature and non-complex form that if you tried to search for any meaning or symbolism behind Frost's words, he has almost intentionally left a vast space for interpretation, paving the way for endless views, or perspectives in which this poem can been taken.
This poem consists of five stanzas that are all complete with four lines; as well as a simple rhyming scheme of 'ABCB' that is repeated until the end. .
In the first stanza, we're greeted with a "lantern that wouldn't burn" (1), which Frost could have used to foreshadow that the poem, or 'night' is not off to a good start – and that things will get infinitely worse from here. The narrative flow of the poem is continuous until the moment the horse is "stabbed dead" (8). Frost wrote this as a statement – leaving no room for any emotive language, or shock attached to the words; which we can use to interpret as Frost's intent to make the protagonists seem indifferent to the sudden death upon them, which could have been signified as the preferred method of grieving.