Frost topics: the everyday life in the country. The emotions, events. Ice weigh down branches of tree, mending stones of a wall, mowing a field of hay; Frost views a deeper meaning, a metaphysical expression of these of love, hate, conflict.

Pastoral poet, inspired by natural world, especially as a chicken farmer in New Hampshire. Was a city boy moved to country, was very intrigued by the natural world

Pastoral themes and dramatic struggles in the natural world. Conflict of changing seasons, destructive side of nature; Inspired deep metaphysical thought

Frost not happy; felt his poetry wasn’t that great; he suffered from b outs of depression and anxiety; Suffered through deaths of father, mother, sister, 4 of his 6 children, and wife.

There is a melancholic mentality

Raw emotion, sense of loss.

Believed that the sound of the poetry is as important as the actual words. Poems are accessible and simple.


Nature: pastoral scenes, dramatic struggle

Communication or lack of it. Inability to communicate

Everyday life

Community VS Isolation of the individual

Loss of innocence

Duty. Rationality VS imagination. Important sense of duty

Rural life provides quality and clarity of life. Creates self-knowledge


Trees. Represent borders, link between earth and sky

Birds and birdsong

Solitary travelers. The social outcast, wanderer, one who exists on fringes of community


1. Mending Wall.

2. 2 men meet in terms of civility and neighborliness. Build barrier out of tradition, habit. Nature breaks down barriers. What does poem say about barrier-building

3. There’s a folksy straightforwardness, that ends in complex ambiguity.

4. There are 2 types of people: wall-builders and wall breakers.

5. Wall building is ancient.

6. Ritual of wall maintenance: rights of property boundaries.

7. Wall building is social What about mutual trust, communication, goodwill

8. Dark-age mentality; man cannot look beyond folly of old kins of reasoning.

9. Written in blank verse. 5 stressed syllables per line

Road Not Taken

1. Structure: 4 stanzas of 5 lines Rhyme scheme ABAAB;

2. NEITHER road is less traveled by.

3. We are free to choose, but we do not know beforehand what we are choosing between.

4. Poem concerned with how the present will look from a future vantage point.

5. INRYP: I shall be telling this. Knows that her will need to come up with a story about why he took one road over another.

6. Anticipation and remorse: made a choice, knows that he will second guess himself somewhere down the line; there is no right path, just the chosen path and the other path.

“Out, Out”

The buzz-saw personified. Comes alive. Frost blames the saw, not the boy. Boys’ passivity and innocence. Boys leave childhoods behind and can be destroyed by circumstances beyond their control

Ending: there is no reason for why the boy has to die


“Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening”

1. 4 iambic stanzas

2. Frost said he wrote this in one sitting

3. Poem is lovely, but entices us with dark depths.

4. Last 2 lines:

5. Basic conflict in poem: attraction toward woods and pull of responsibility outside the woods.

6. What do woods represent?

7. Does poem express a death wish?

8. Woods sit on the edge of civilization…they draw the speaker away from it. Regard for beauty and danger.