Comparing two poems- "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and "Dust of Snow" both by Robert Frost

Essay by krdixon83High School, 10th grade June 2008

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The poems “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and “Dust of Snow” both by Robert Frost show the relationship between Mother Nature and human nature. Although the poems share the same theme, they have similar perspective, form, and diction, the poems have different styles. Both the poems show some degree of truth in human nature through Mother Nature, but when comparing and contrasting them, there are many more connections that are exposed.

In “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Frost shows the loss of innocence between two figures, Eden and gold. The poem’s first line, “Nature's first green is gold” explains that gold represents innocence. Frost then writes, “Her early leaf's a flower/But only so an hour.” Frost shows that innocence does not last forever and will soon fade. The poem follows saying that Eden goes into grief symbolizing the loss of innocence. When applying this theme to human nature, the gold represents childhood and when “Then leaf subsides to leaf” humans slowly lose their innocence as they become adults.

To stay gold is to stay true in this poem. However, gold loses lust and brilliance as it becomes into a different object, very much like how people lose innocence and they change their nature into a different person. Although gold represents purity and innocence, it also shows ignorance. To be human is to have taken from the Tree of Knowledge and gain conscious of knowledge. As people progress through their lives, ignorance along with innocence slowly fades away. Frost also exemplifies how quick reality sets into one’s life when he writes, “But only so an hour”. Frost shows that after losing innocence and ignorance, knowledge and reality takes place instead. However, this poem can also apply to other things seen in human nature. For example, happiness does not stay...