'In Neglect' by Robert Frost
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A Boy's Will1915
They leave us so to the way we took,
As two in whom them were proved mistaken,
That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,
With michievous, vagrant, seraphic look,
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, In Neglect: A Critical Analysis of Robert Frost's Masterpiece
As a reader, I have always been fascinated by the works of Robert Frost. His poetry has a way of transporting me to another world, a world filled with beauty, mystery, and wonder. In particular, Frost's poem "Poetry, In Neglect" has always been a personal favorite of mine. In this 4000-word literary criticism and interpretation, I will explore the themes, motifs, and symbols in this masterpiece and attempt to unravel the deeper meanings behind Frost's words.
A Brief Overview of the Poem
Before we dive into the analysis, let us first take a moment to appreciate the poem itself. "Poetry, In Neglect" is a sonnet, consisting of fourteen lines and a strict rhyme scheme (abba abba cdc dcd). Despite its formal structure, the poem has a conversational tone and a sense of urgency, as if Frost is pleading with the reader to pay attention to poetry.
The first eight lines of the poem describe the sorry state of poetry in the modern world. Frost laments that poetry has been "forgotten in this heated chase", referring to the fast-paced, materialistic society in which he lived. He goes on to say that "It has been a possession", implying that poetry used to hold a place of importance in people's lives, but has since been cast aside.
The next six lines of the poem are a plea for the reader to rediscover the beauty and power of poetry. Frost uses the metaphor of a lost lover to describe poetry, saying that "She is not dead, though she be buried deep". He urges the reader to dig her up, to "make her more lovely than the way you found her". The final line of the poem, "We make ourselves a place apart", implies that poetry has the power to take us out of the mundane world and into a place of beauty and inspiration.
The Themes of Neglect and Rediscovery
The most obvious theme in "Poetry, In Neglect" is neglect. Frost is clearly concerned with the fact that poetry has been forgotten and cast aside in the modern world. He paints a picture of a society that is too busy and too focused on material success to appreciate the beauty and power of poetry. This theme is particularly relevant today, as our society is arguably even more fast-paced and materialistic than it was in Frost's time.
However, Frost does not simply bemoan the state of poetry. He also offers a solution, a way to rediscover poetry and bring it back to its rightful place of importance. This theme of rediscovery is just as important as the theme of neglect. Frost is not content to simply complain about the state of poetry; he wants to inspire his readers to take action and rediscover the beauty and power of poetry.
The Motifs of Death and Resurrection
Another important aspect of "Poetry, In Neglect" is the motif of death and resurrection. Frost uses the metaphor of a lost lover to describe poetry, saying that "She is not dead, though she be buried deep". This metaphor implies that poetry is not truly dead, but merely buried and forgotten. It is waiting to be rediscovered and brought back to life.
The theme of death and resurrection is not limited to poetry, however. It also applies to the reader. Frost urges the reader to "make her more lovely than the way you found her", implying that the act of rediscovering poetry will not only bring poetry back to life, but will also bring the reader back to life. By rediscovering poetry, the reader will be resurrected, brought out of the mundane world and into a world of beauty and inspiration.
The Symbols of Nature and Art
Finally, we come to the symbols in "Poetry, In Neglect". Frost uses two main symbols in this poem: nature and art. Nature symbolizes the beauty and power of the natural world, while art symbolizes the beauty and power of human creativity.
Frost uses nature as a contrast to the fast-paced, materialistic world he describes in the first eight lines of the poem. He says that "We have pulled down the blinds on the sun", implying that we have cut ourselves off from the natural world and its beauty. By rediscovering poetry (and by extension, art), we can reconnect with the natural world and all its wonders.
Art, too, is a symbol of beauty and power. Frost uses the metaphor of a lost lover to describe poetry, but he could just as easily have used the metaphor of a lost work of art. Both poetry and art have the power to inspire and uplift us, to take us out of the mundane world and into a world of beauty and inspiration.
In conclusion, "Poetry, In Neglect" is a masterpiece of poetry that explores the themes of neglect and rediscovery, the motifs of death and resurrection, and the symbols of nature and art. Frost's urgent, conversational tone and strict rhyme scheme make this poem both accessible and powerful. As a reader, I feel inspired to rediscover the beauty and power of poetry, and to take action to bring it back to its rightful place of importance.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry In Neglect: A Masterpiece by Robert Frost
Robert Frost, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, is known for his ability to capture the essence of nature and human emotions in his works. His poem, "Poetry In Neglect," is a masterpiece that explores the relationship between nature and human neglect. In this analysis, we will delve into the themes, structure, and literary devices used in the poem to understand its deeper meaning.
The poem begins with the speaker describing a neglected garden that has been left to wither away. The garden is overgrown with weeds, and the flowers have wilted and died. The speaker then goes on to describe how the garden was once a place of beauty, where the flowers bloomed and the birds sang. However, due to neglect, the garden has lost its charm and has become a desolate place.
The theme of neglect is central to the poem. Frost uses the garden as a metaphor for the neglect that humans inflict on nature. The garden, which was once a place of beauty, has been left to decay due to human neglect. This neglect is not only physical but also emotional. The speaker suggests that humans have lost their connection to nature and have become indifferent to its beauty.
The poem also explores the theme of mortality. The garden, which was once full of life, has now become a place of death. The flowers have wilted, and the birds have flown away. The speaker suggests that this is a metaphor for human mortality. We too will wither away and die, just like the flowers in the neglected garden.
The structure of the poem is also significant. Frost uses a free verse structure, which allows him to create a natural flow of words that mimics the ebb and flow of nature. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with a different focus. The first stanza describes the neglected garden, the second stanza explores the theme of mortality, and the third stanza offers a glimmer of hope.
Frost also uses several literary devices to enhance the meaning of the poem. The most prominent device is imagery. Frost uses vivid descriptions of the garden to create a visual image in the reader's mind. For example, he describes the garden as "A drowsy smell of flowers drifted over from it" and "The birds that came to it through the air." These descriptions help to create a sense of nostalgia for the reader and emphasize the beauty that has been lost due to neglect.
Another literary device used in the poem is personification. Frost personifies the garden, describing it as having a "personality" and a "character." This personification helps to create a sense of empathy for the garden and highlights the emotional neglect that humans inflict on nature.
The poem also uses symbolism to convey its message. The garden is a symbol for nature, and its neglect represents the indifference that humans have towards the environment. The flowers in the garden represent life, and their withering away represents human mortality. The birds that once sang in the garden represent the beauty of nature, which has been lost due to neglect.
In the final stanza, the speaker offers a glimmer of hope. He suggests that the garden can be restored to its former glory if someone takes the time to care for it. This is a metaphor for the environment, which can be restored if humans take the time to care for it. The speaker suggests that it is not too late to make a change and that we can still make a difference.
In conclusion, "Poetry In Neglect" is a masterpiece that explores the relationship between nature and human neglect. Frost uses vivid imagery, personification, and symbolism to convey his message. The poem highlights the emotional neglect that humans inflict on nature and the consequences of this neglect. However, the poem also offers a glimmer of hope, suggesting that it is not too late to make a change. This poem is a reminder that we must take care of the environment and appreciate the beauty of nature before it is too late.
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