Essay on A Life in Pentameter

Submitted By chillcago
Words: 1021
Pages: 5

O. Dickson
Professor (Name Deleted)
Critical Thinking and Writing about Literature
06 February 2014
A Life in Pentameter Robert Frost's poem "Home Burial" is a eulogistic ode to his lost loved ones. Frost's background plays a major part in the emotional empathy he attempts to bestow upon his audience. This particular poem is in no doubt formed from Frost's personal suffering of the loss of two of his children along with the death of both of his parents. The background that is set unwillingly but dramatically none the less by Frost is a heartbreaking one by all accounts of the word. The background starts with Frost losing his father at the frail age of eleven. As I'm sure anyone who has lost a parent at a young age would attest to, he was devastated. Fifteen years later his mother passed away from cancer, meaning at the age of 26 he had lost both parents. Also that same year Frost lost his first born son to Cholera at the young age of four. The following year he lost his grandfather. In 1907, just six years after the death of his son, Frost lost his last born daughter who died after just three days of life. So much death and despair in one's life, never knowing who might go next, it is enough to make any person submit to the will of misery. Instead Frost put pen to paper and expressed his misery to the masses. The poem "Home Burial" is that misery. The poem touches on every aspect that grieving parents go through; the burial of the child, the blaming, the sadness, the fractured marriage and most perhaps most noticeably the perceived lack of empathy between spouses. The setting and the backdrop of the scene itself is of importance as well. The stairs the married couple stand on as they argue, metaphorically signify their respective stages of grief. The wife, who is standing at the top of the stairs, is still stuck between steps one and two of the stages of grief which are denial and anger. The husband at the bottom of the stairs has reached the final step, step five, which is acceptance. The steps also signify the husbands attempt at understanding and getting closer to his wife as moves closer to her up the stairs to achieve a better view of what she sees out of the window. The window with a view of the hill on which their son is buried itself signifying that it is something they should never lose sight of. It interesting to notice that after their discourse on the stairs the wife attempts to leave the residence this is metaphorical of her wanting to escape the pain she feels and the perceived lack of emotion she implies her husband is guilty of. Notice the husband again comes to her down the stairs conveying that he is trying to stay with her and understand her again. The wife speaks to him about the reasoning behind her anger towards him being on the day he buried their son. The wife states that after burying his son he came into the house and spoke of "everyday concerns" (Frost 1). The statement the husband made to his wife is simply lost on her, due to her extreme grief no doubt. The husband stated "Three foggy mornings and one rainy day/will rot the best birch fence a man can build" (Frost 1). This statement is meant as an analogy for the futility of life the husband felt after the death of his son, hinting at the idea that he was in fact deeply sorrowed by the death of his child. The death essentially changed his entire view on life according to the particular stanza. Anyone who loses a child is going to come out of that part of their life with a different view to say the least. At the ending of the series of discussions that the married couple is having it seems