Shadows in the Yellow Wood: The Dark Side of Rober Frost's Poetry

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Shadows in the Yellow Wood: The Dark Side of Robert Frost’s Poetry Robert Frost is one of the most widely-read and recognized poets of the twentieth century, if not all time. If his name is mentioned, it is usually followed by a reference to two roads diverged in a yellow wood and taking the one less traveled by. But lurking in the shadows of the yellow wood of Frost’s poetry are much deeper meanings than are immediately apparent. As the modern poet Billy Collins says in his “Introduction to Poetry”, in order to find the true meaning of a poem we must “…hold it up to the light/ like a color slide” instead of “…beating it with a hose/ to find out what it really means” (1-16). When Frost’s poems are held up to the light, it is revealed…show more content…
Frost uses all these devices to illustrate the fact that all things in life are transient, so each moment should be experienced, enjoyed, and accepted (Caravantes 94). Another one of Robert Frost’s poems that contains a theme of destruction is “Fire and Ice”, in which he discusses the two ways he thinks the world will end: “Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice” (1-2). Here fire is a symbol for the destructive ways of humanity and the selfish fighting that could end its days. Ice is symbolic of the cold indifference and hate of which humans are also capable; they will ignore each other’s suffering until the human race is entirely wiped out. Either way, according to Frost, humanity will be the cause of its own destruction in the end. In both these poems, the dark theme of endings is apparent. Frost also examines the search for truth that is central to every life. His poem “Neither Out Far Nor In Deep” uses the image of people standing on a beach looking out to sea as a metaphor for this search for truth. It reads: The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be— The water comes ashore, And the people look at the sea. (“Neither” 9-12) The land is the ever-changing society that all humans must live in, but just as the sea never stops coming ashore, the truth will never cease to exist, no matter how much the land (or society) might change. People look at

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