Robert Frost 's Design As Seen Through The Lens Of His Earlier Poem Essay

Better Essays

James Giltenan
Erik Gray
TA: Michael West
26 October 2016
Robert Frost’s “Design” as Seen Through the Lens of His Earlier Poem “Range-Finding” In Robert Frost’s “Design,” written in 1922, the narrator laments the juxtaposition of life and death that he bears witness to when he sees a spider on a heal-all flower carrying the dead moth it has killed. He uses a modified Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, punctuation, repetition of rhyme and diction, repetition of anomaly, and repetition of the same rhyme in both the octave and the sestet, to convey that death is a question that cannot be answered and that the only solution, the only answer, is to continue to ponder over it. While it is a question that cannot be answered, it must be questioned anyway. He uses symbols he has drawn from in earlier works, as well as his experience playing with the form of the Petrarchan sonnet in the past, to help shed light on the importance of this. Using a modified Petrarchan sonnet, Frost is able to use the formal rhyme scheme in the first eight lines, called the octave, of abb/aab/ba. While the rhyme scheme of the second six lines of the poem, called the sestet, follows less stringent guidelines, Frost uses that of ac/aa/cc, which is extraordinary in that it carries over the “a” of the octave’s rhyme scheme and introduces it into the rhyme scheme of the sestet. Usually the sestet introduces new rhymes of “c” and “d” but Frost chooses to only introduce one new rhyme to its scheme, that of

Get Access