Literary Analysis of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

April 5, 2009
By Bridie ELITE, Massapequa, New York
Bridie ELITE, Massapequa, New York
109 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
She can because she thinks she can.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost is a poem I truly enjoyed but found it difficult to understand. We my class had many guesses and ideas about this poem, from the character being Santa Claus, to a man lost in the woods, or going to his own memories of the past and seeing what has changed from that time. In the poem at the last stanza, I wondered why did it repeat the last sentence, “And miles to go before I sleep / and miles to go before I sleep.” What was the promise he had to keep? In addition, what was he doing here?

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” has many different types of poetic devises. In this poem, there is a lot of assonance. Assonance is when the author makes the lines of a sentence rhyme by repeating the vowel sounds. “Whose woods these are I think I know /His house is in the village though; /He will not see me stopping here/to watch his woods fill up with snow.” There is also repetition when he repeated the last line, “And miles to go before I sleep/and miles to go before I sleep.” I think the author wanted to hint something off to us. I think he meant it is not really sleep like going to bed at night, but a different form of sleep.

I read a poem once that was very similar to this one and this poem reminds me very much of the poem. “Baby Boy Blue” was about a little boy who put his toys away one night and he never came back to them. However, the toys just sat there, never moving, just sitting there and collecting dust. A part of the poem said how that night he heard the soft sound of the angels and trumpets as the toys sat wondering whatever happened to Baby Boy Blue. This poem is about how this little boy died of a disease that gave the child bluish skin. His parents were so sad that they never went into his room and kept it just the way he left it just the way he left it.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is not about Santa Clause, but it is actually about a man who died and he is trying to find his final resting place, or heaven. So he truly does have miles to go before he sleeps “And miles to go before I sleep.” Then he shall sleep forever more. I think that maybe the author is trying to say not to be afraid of death, that it could be beautiful, and there is a journey even through death. Even though this is a truly sad poem it is still very enjoyable, and I love it.

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This article has 3 comments.

T-Lein said...
on Oct. 26 2011 at 5:49 pm
What I actually meant to put was that the man is dying and is actually stopping by woods.

T-Lein said...
on Oct. 26 2011 at 5:47 pm
ok great. cool. thanks.

Richard said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 6:55 pm
Hey great job Bridget! This is a great poem to exercise an analytical mind. Is the man dead already though, or dying? Is he even in the woods, or are the woods a metaphor for something else entirely? Again, great work!


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