Analyzing Stopping by the Woods Essay

Submitted By eockerlund
Words: 580
Pages: 3

Lit. Matters
Poetry Essay

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The poem I chose to write about is Robert Frost’s “stopping by woods on a snowy evening”. I chose this particular piece of his work because I enjoy Frost’s dark and mysterious side. This piece of work displays the dark mysterious side of Frost that I am referring to. After first reading this poem in high school, my impression was that the piece was a little strange and creepy. However after our class had discussed and critically analyzed the poem, we uncovered a lot more than what meets the eye. The piece is very simple on the surface; just simply someone stopping and looking into the woods along their travels. As you reread the poem, Frost’s dark side starts to show itself. The speaker gazes into the deep dark woods and as he contemplates fulfilling his temptation to go into the woods. This is where interpretations of the poem vary from reader to reader. When I studied this piece in high school, our class concluded that this portion of the poem was the speaker considering giving up his life to the woods. When he says, “the woods are lovely and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” I believe that the speaker is tempted to just give up on life but then realizes that he has promises and responsibilities, so therefore, he decides not to enter the cold, dark, deep woods. The way Frost describes the woods makes me lean more towards the interpretation that the speaker is considering suicide but holds back because he describes the woods as cold, deep, and dark. All of these adjectives describe death, hence why I believe that the woods are a metaphor for death. On the other hand, the poem can also be interpreted in a much less extreme manor. An example of another interpretation of the poem is the interpretation our class had of the poem, which was that the speaker is on a long journey, and he is desperately tired and just simply wants to sleep when he sees the calm and inviting woods. This interpretation of the piece is not as strong as…