Patricia Rivera Conde y Castañeda
Imagery in the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
In “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, the poet uses the contrasts of ideas and images to present the metaphors which will give the main theme and mood to the poem. Visual images and tactile images help to understand better the mood of the narrator along with creating a clear picture of the scenery of the poem in the reader’s mind. The poet uses personification to increase the tension in the middle of the poem in order for the reader to understand that there is some uncertainty in the narrator’s acts.
The poem talks about a man wondering around in the woods with his horse on a snowy evening, for a moment he stops and contemplates the scenery.
A) The poet uses mostly visual images in describing the scenery, such as “To watch his woods fill up with snow”, “The darkest evening of the year” and “The woods are lovely, dark and deep”. The effect that the poet creates with these images is the sense of tranquility and beauty that made the narrator be lulled by the woods.
B) We find metaphors used by the poet in the phrase “And miles to go before I sleep”, where “miles to go”, is the metaphor for life and “before I sleep”, is a metaphor for death. The repetition of this line at the end of the last stanza gives emphasis to the phrase giving a second meaning to the phrase, along with turning drastically the mood of the poem into something darker.
C) The poet uses personification in the horse, since he gives human character to the horse when it starts questioning its master decisions. The horse feels anxious and he even tries to awake his master of the trance he has sunk in. The fear of the horse brings tension to the poem along with the feeling of uncertainty.
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