The main theme of "Desert Places" by Robert Frost is loneliness; perhaps the loneliness that Frost felt after each death of three of his children. The prominent subject of the poem involves nature and the course it follows. The speaker uses references of nature to describe the seclusion he/she feels. Frost may have gotten some of the ideas for scenery from his New England background. New England is known for its beautiful landscape and foliage, although they aren't depicted in the greatest light in "Desert Places". Frost enables the poem to come to life through the use of elemental poetry, such as imagery, theme, and tone.
The sense of solitude is first formed in the beginning stanza. The snow falling and night falling at the same time give the idea that there is not much more to look forward to. They obscure perception, hiding any other form of life from the speaker. The few signs of life the narrator manages to see are "a few weeds and stubble" (line 4). These aren't even completely exposed. They are actually almost covered by the snow. This symbolizes the minute amount of hope that the speaker actually has, but is dwindling soon to be covered completely in despair.
In stanza two, there is an observation of the wintry rituals of nature. The field, covered in snow, disrupts the continuity of the forest. The animals go into hiding until spring comes around. The weight of the snow smothers all life leaving the poet alone in a dead universe. The speaker is tired and out of energy, not unlike winter days. Everything around him/her is busy with their own lives that they don't see that he/she is depressed. .
The repetition of the words "lonely" and "loneliness", in lines nine and ten, set the tone for the third stanza. The sentence "loneliness will be more lonely ere it will be less"(9,10) states that the feeling of loneliness will become worse before it becomes better. The whiteness and smoothness of the snow makes the world seem empty and blank.