But as his poetic tone became increasingly jaded and didactic, he imagines youth as a time of unchecked freedom that is taken for granted and then lost. The theme of lost innocence becomes particularly poignant for Frost after the horrors of World War I and World War II, in which he witnessed the physical and psychic wounding of entire generations of young people.
On a word-for-word basis, it may be the most popular piece of literature ever written by an American. Most widely celebrated artistic projects are known for being essentially what they purport to be.
A cultural offering may be simple or complex, cooked or raw, but its audience nearly always knows what kind of dish is being served. The two roads are interchangeable. In this it strongly resembles its creator. Frost is the only major literary figure in American history with two distinct audiences, one of which regularly assumes that the other has been deceived.
For these readers, Frost is a mainstay of syllabi and seminars, and a regular subject of scholarly articles though he falls well short of inspiring the interest that Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens enjoy. Then there is the other audience. This audience is large.
Frost is not simply that rare bird, a popular poet; he is one of the best-known personages of the past hundred years in any cultural arena.
In all of American history, the only writers who can match or surpass him are Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe, and the only poet in the history of English-language verse who commands more attention is William Shakespeare.
This level of recognition makes poetry readers uncomfortable. Poets, we assume, are not popular—at least after or so. If one becomes popular, then either he must be a second-tier talent catering to mass taste as Sandburg is often thought to be or there must be some kind of confusion or deception going on.
He is really a wolf, we say, and it is only the sheep who are fooled.
In this sense, the poem is emblematic. A role too artfully assumed ceases to become a role and instead becomes a species of identity—an observation equally true of Robert Frost himself.
It is a poem about the necessity of choosing that somehow, like its author, never makes a choice itself—that instead repeatedly returns us to the same enigmatic, leaf-shadowed crossroads.
From The Road Not Taken:This accessible literary criticism is perfect for anyone faced with Frost’s Early Poems essays, papers, tests, exams, or for anyone who needs to create a Frost’s Early Poems lesson plan. “The Road Not Taken” “Birches” Found in “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” ().
Get an answer for 'Compare and Contrast Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"?' and find homework help for other The Road Not Taken questions at eNotes. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 13th Edition.
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A summary of “Birches” in Robert Frost's Frost’s Early Poems. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Frost’s Early Poems and what it means. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” “The Road Not Taken. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
- An Analysis of Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening The images in the poem “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost are very vivid.. The man telling the story is telling events as they happened in his own eyes.