Critical analysis of Robert Frost's, ''Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening''

Essay by pimkieUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2006

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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.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

In Robert Frost's, ''Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,'' a traveler discovers a world of perfect quiet and solitude in the woods one snowy evening. But existing alongside this world is also another world of noise, people and social obligations.

The poem is a symphony in balance of finite and infinite worlds. In addition, the entire pattern set out in flawless quatrains and iambic tetrameter is hypnotic, pulling the reader along into its drowsy wake. Permeating the overall lyric is the sense of a struggle to regain poise and to balance opposites. In the same way the rhyme, imagery, and rhythm are interlaced throughout, the lyric leads to glimpses of the richness and lyrical nuances linking the world in the woods to the ''real'' world outside.

The opening two lines in the first stanza, deceptive in their simplicity, hold a wealth of information, ''Whose woods these are I think I know/His house in the village though.'' There is an immediate contrast between the owner of the woods, who lives in the village and is being portrayed as existing in the materialistic world, and the traveler, who is trespassing...