Analysis of "Nothing Gold Can Stay"

2767 WordsMar 6, 201312 Pages
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay," although quite short, contains powerful images that provide a unique insight to one of the many cycle's of life. The title of the poem infers that the subject of this poem is something that was once beautiful and pure, but cannot remain so. On the surface, it seems the speaker of the poem is referring to Nature's beauty can never remain. The first couplet "Nature's first green is gold/Her hardest hue to hold" could represent the spring time when nature is alive and vibrant. Plants, trees, and flowers thrive and become something of value to a keen observer. The statement that green is gold almost seems like a contradiction. However, the speaker is not using the word gold…show more content…
Using enjambment to link to the fourth stanza, the narrator reflects on the fact that the soldier he killed probably decided to join the army ('list is short for enlist) because he had no work and had sold his belongings. The narrator understands this, having been in a similar situation himself and having found himself with no alternative but to join the army. It was not a positive decision, but a last resort when there were no other options. The final stanza reiterates the main theme of the poem, that war is a strange phenomenon because a soldier finds himself forced to kill a man that he would otherwise have bought a drink for or lent money to, had they met in times of peace. 'Half-a-crown' is the old British money, worth about twelve and a half pence in today's currency. In 1902 that would of course have had considerably more value than it does just over one hundred years later. THE GENERAL The poem "The General" is from Siegfried Sassoon's second collection of war poems which was published in the year 1918 and entitled "Counter Attack and Other Poems." This very short poem bitterly satirizes the incompetence of the general who commanded his soldiers during the first world war. The general must have been a blue blooded aristocrat who would address his soldiers, who were mostly ordinary men, with the right upper class accent. The general being a staff
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