The Tragic Impermanence of Youth in Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay

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The Tragic Impermanence of Youth in Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay

In his poem "Nothing Gold can Stay", Robert Frost names youth and its attributes as invaluable. Using nature as an example, Frost relates the earliest green of a newborn plant to gold; its first leaves are equated with flowers. However, to hold something as fleeting as youth in the highest of esteems is to set one's self up for tragedy. The laws of the Universe cast the glories of youth into an unquestionable state of impermanence. It is an inescapable fact that all that is born, pure and clean, will be polluted with age and die. The aging process that Frost describes is meant to be taken literally as well as metaphorically. Literally, the plants that Frost
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Finally, as summer gives way to fall, life slips into a state of dormancy.

It is said that from the moment you are born, you begin to die. Whether this is a scientific fact is questionable; growth should not be confused with aging. However, at some level, there is truth wrapped in such cynicism. Within the physical spectrum, the law of gravity enigmatically enables life to thrive just as it contributes to its eventual destruction. Like a fatal flaw, gravity creates the conditions to facilitate life by holding matter together. Existence is only sustained within the bounds of a limited amount of time however, until gravity pulls down the forms that it had momentarily allowed to stand. Although we as humans are constantly subject to the weight of gravity throughout life, we do not exist to submissively press our bellies to the ground, cowering to such a power. We rebel against its constant pull; we grow, we stand, we live; but not indefinitely. The strongest of backs will eventually bend in exhaustion. The leaves that were once green and firm shrivel and are pulled down to the ground from whence they came; "...Leaf subsides to leaf". Little by little, all that is left of the vivacity of youth wears away. From the point of birth our fate is sealed. All that is incarnated must eventually bow to gravity's constant force; and finally, at the moment of supreme surrender, we
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