Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Critical Essay Sample

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A famous and one of the most anthologized poems by Robert Frost. The poem comprises four quatrains with the following rhyme scheme abba, BBC, CDC, added. The poem’s scene is understated; the central narrative is simple, even stark, and bare of elaboration A traveler stops to admire the woods on the way. The speaker reflects that the owner lives in the village and will not see as he stops to watch the woods as they fill up with snow.

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Analysis of Poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The speaker intersects his imagination by imagining that the house finds it strange to stop on a dark evening without a farmhouse nearby (Little & Bloom, 2010). The speaker expands his conceit in the third stanza signifying that nervousness causes the horse to shake the harness bells, asking if there is a mistake. The only other sounds sweep.

The speaker’s interests get compelled by something in the woods. The ending of the poem brings a sense that there is something other than what meets the eye. The woods are dark, deep, and lovely the speaker acknowledges in the last verse. However, the speaker cannot pursue the insight deeply since he has a long way to go before he retires to bed. Nevertheless, wood is not the central focus of the poem what is important is the drama the speaker goes through as he reflects, understands, or fails to understand the reason he stops and why the wood is captivating.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening: Why Did the Author Use a Winter Scene?

The artfulness of the poem stopping the woods consists of two worlds that are balanced and established. What appears as simple is not simple and what appears innocent is not innocent. The poet is amazed empty wastes of white and black (Littele & Bloom, 2010). The repetition of the word sleep in the last two lines is a suggestion that the speaker is can easily succumb to influences at work.

It is a dark evening in the calendar year, and the poet is alone. The only bond is the security and warmth of the world and the horse that is unsure and wants to go away from the errand. lovely the description of the scene of bare wood, facing snow, and black night complicates instead of alleviating the mood. It is a connotation of danger isolation and impending death.


The culminates unclearly as the reader does not get to know more about the speaker; where he goes or, where he originates from, and the reason for stopping by the wood on a dark, snowy evening. However, the speaker does not allow himself to get a deeper reflection on the occasion. A reader of this poem is left wondering the full intention of the title of the poem. Stopping by Woods, a gratuitous action an imaginative possibility, and a grace note. Just like the speaker the reader is always stopping by the woods while the reader just like the speaker is in a position to make the most out of the situation or to continue their endeavors.


Little, M. R., & Bloom, H. (2010). Bloom's how to write about Robert Frost. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism.

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