Interpretation: “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Poetry is a wonderful world of words. Each different poet is noted for his or her own creative style and choice of subject matter. Sometimes a poet will write about many things, sometimes a poet will write about one thing, and sometimes a poet will write about one thing that can be interpreted in many ways. In the case of “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, Robert Frost is writing about one thing that be can be interpreted in many different ways. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” can be interpreted to be about nature, life, and love.
When Frost writes, “Natures first green is gold” it is obvious that he is making a reference to the cycles of nature (1). In nature the season that contains life and growth is spring. In the spring each new plant is young, green, and in the golden part of its life. Every new beginning in nature is its most golden moment.
Unfortunately, the moment of growth and abundance in the life of spring does not last. The first golden green parts of its life fade into to dull browns as summer begins to take over with gold being “Her [nature’s] hardest hue to hold” (2). Nature, as everything, works in a continuous cycle. The cycle of nature is almost all death with the exception of the spring, which sadly is the shorter of the seasons.
Much like nature, the golden parts of our lives are the parts that don’t last very long. So when comparing Frost’s words it is evident to see that his nature like similes are really about the life and death aspects of living. “Natures first green is gold” is a way of saying that we are at the golden part of our life when we are young.
Life can be a short unhappy existence remembered only by memories that signify our youth. When we are young everything is happy and new. In the seventh line Frost writes, “So dawn goes down today” meaning that the short golden beginnings in life must go down in order for the day, a new life, to begin. Our first years are the only times when our lives are new, we are discovering the basics of life; that is when we are the most alive. When we learn how to walk and how to talk, those are the only times when we are experiencing life, everything after that is just an addition to that original experience. Once something is experienced for the first time (e.g. walking), the moment of experience is over and cannot be replicated. It is only the moments of something “new” that is an experience in life. Our newness is much like the spring, new for only a brief time. We search for a way to stay young forever in vain; Women with their make up and face lifts struggle to keep up their young appearance; Men with their young girlfriends and fast little cars struggle to bring back what things they might have had when they were young. It cannot be done eventually we will grow into summer and die.
Love like the spring, and like our childhood doesn’t last. When first in love everything is new, everything is golden. In the fourth and fifth line Frost writes; “Her early leafs a flower; but only so an hour” when compared to love it can be said that Frost is referring to the stages of love. In the beginning love is a blossoming flower. Lovers start out wanting to be constantly near each other, like the spring flowers that wish to spend every moment in sunlight. Soon they find themselves constantly in company of each other. And eventually they will open into a full blossom, exposing every petal to the sunlight, and fulfilling the lovers with golden love. When at last they reach their highest peak it is only downward that they can go. The petals slowly start to hate the sun that rises every morning before them because its touch has become harmful to their fragile petals. And, thus begins the end of love. Sadly, it must be this way because each thing be it a rose, a life or a partnership of lovers must have an end. It is this way because without endings you cannot have beginnings.
Every poem has multiple meanings because the interpretation of something is as said “in the eye o the beholder”. Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing gold can stay” can be interpreted in at least three ways. You can see that he is writing about nature when he writes, “Natures first green is gold.” It is the spring that is the golden times, it is the spring when life first begins and new experiences are felt. “So dawn goes down today” is the great sadness of life that youth does not last. No matter how hard one may try they cannot find a perpetual state of youth. “Her early leafs a flower, but only so an hour” is love, the blossoming that does not last for more than an hour. Love brightens and fades very much like a summer rose, lasting only briefly in its highest moment. So in end conclusion Robert Frost was a man of many feelings and ways to express them. My interpretations of “nothing gold can stay” are only three of the thousand upon thousand different ways that it can be looked upon. I’m sure that if someone else were to do an essay on the same exact poem they could come up with a completely different analysis. That’s one of the great things about poetry; it can be whatever you want it to be and no one can say your wrong.
Works Cited Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama Second Compact Edition. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Menlo Park, CA. 2000. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. Page 735.