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Imagery in Robert Frost Poetry

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In “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Robert Frost conveys many messages. The poem is, on the surface, about nature and the changing of the seasons. If you go deeper into the meaning of the poem you will find a different theme of innocence. Frost relates the idea of innocence to nature. He also uses personification to address his point. The biggest message in the poem for me is that nothing good lasts forever. Time passes by quickly and if you don’t hold onto the good things in life you will lose hope and happiness. Innocence doesn’t last forever. Life doesn’t last forever. He tells the reader that they need to hold onto the good things in life because they will not be there forever.

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Robert Frost uses metaphors to express the theme of the poem. He relates “nature’s first green is gold” to innocence. Innocence is the first green in the poem. It is golden and should be valued and cherished. He uses an allusion to the first people Adam and Eve when he says “So Eden sank to grief.” Adam and Eve’s sin against God took away their innocence and their punishment because of that was to be kicked out of the garden of Eden. Man had to learn and deal with the harsh realities of the world. He lost his childhood innocence and had to grow up and accept the consequences of his actions. He used figurative language in “Her early leaf’s a flower.” He blurs the line between leaves and flowers to show that the change happens quickly. A flower on a tree leads to a leaf. He used personification to relate Nature to a female.

The tone of the poem starts out soft but leads into a sad truth. The shift between the two happens in the line, “but only so an hour.” This line tells of how the good only last for a short time. It gives the idea of longing, in that wishing the good would stay forever. This ties into the theme that nothing good lasts forever. If it did what would it’s value be. Frost wants you to think about the good in your life and to tell you to hold onto it.

The title of the poem is also the last line. I believe that the title expresses the theme of good things ending. Gold is valuable but it is also malleable. Gold can be made into other things. Good things can change, and will. The overall theme of the poem is that nothing lasts forever.

Fire and Ice Analysis:

In the poem “Fire and Ice” Robert Frost talks about the end of the world. He uses fire to represent passion and ice to represent hate. The theme of the poem is that too much passion or too much hate will lead to our downfall. He causes the reader to think about the end of the world. To question whether the world will end because of passion of because of hate.

Frost relates fire to passion because it is hot and hasty and quick. He relates ice to hate because it is harsh and cold. Both are very powerful but in drastically different ways. “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” He says that the world will end either by the hands of Fire or by Ice. I think that Fire and Ice aren’t just related to feelings but as groups/sides of people. Some people are very passionate while others are very cold and harsh. Each person has different sides. We all feel hate sometimes yet we also all feel passion for something. Passion or hate can control us, and if we let them it will ultimately lead to our downfall. He uses metaphors to express this idea.

In the line “from what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire,” he tells the reader that he would choose fire. He says that he would because of what he has experience from desire. Desire and passion are closely linked. “Tasted of desire” is an example of imagery. It puts the thought of desire as a tangible thing in your mind. The poem also has a lot of imagery and it makes you think of how the world will end. It also has personification, relating fire and ice to human emotions.

The attitude of the poem is very dramatic. It is dramatic because it expresses the idea that the world will end and it will either be by fire or by ice. The tone is destruction. The whole poem is about whether the world will be destroyed by fire or by ice. The tone/focus of the poem changes in the line “but if it had to perish twice.” He changes the focus of the poem from fire to ice. He plays on the contrast between fire and ice. Another view of the tone is ironic yet accepting. In the last line of the poem there is a lot of irony because he says “and would suffice” yet the whole poem is about great destruction. Suffice is to downplay the importance of the destroyers.

The title of this poem addresses the main parts of it, fire and ice. They are opposites yet together they can balance each other out. The overall theme of the poem is the power of human emotions. Passion and hate can lead to great or horrible things. When I first read the title I thought of fire and ice in the literal sense. Now to me the words mean what they are used to represent in the poem; passion and hate.  

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