'On a Tree Fallen Across The Road' by Robert Lee Frost
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(To hear us talk)
The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are
Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an ax.
And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole
And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Close Look at Frost’s "On a Tree Fallen Across The Road"
Robert Lee Frost is one of the most well-known poets of the 20th century, and his work has been celebrated for its insight and lyricism. In his poem, "On a Tree Fallen Across The Road," Frost explores themes of nature, mortality, and the passage of time through his vivid and evocative language.
The poem opens with a striking image: "The tree the tempest with a crash of wood / Throws down in front of us is not bar / Our passage to our journey's end for good…" The fallen tree becomes a symbol for the obstacles that we encounter in life, and the need to find a way around them. Frost does not see the tree as an insurmountable obstacle, however, but rather as a challenge to be overcome.
Nature and Mortality
Throughout the poem, Frost uses the fallen tree to explore the themes of nature and mortality. The tree, once a living organism, has now been uprooted and destroyed by the forces of nature. This reminds us of our own mortality and the inevitability of death. However, the poem also suggests that there is a kind of beauty in this process of decay and renewal. The tree may be dead, but it has also become a part of the landscape, and moss and lichen now grow upon its trunk.
The Passage of Time
Another theme that Frost explores in the poem is the passage of time. The tree has been standing for hundreds of years, and yet it is suddenly brought down by a storm. The poem invites us to reflect on the fragility of life and the suddenness with which it can be taken away. The fallen tree also becomes a reminder of the long history of the landscape, and the countless generations of people and animals that have passed through it. In this way, the poem encourages us to think about our own place in the world and the fleeting nature of our existence.
Form and Meter
Frost's use of form and meter in "On a Tree Fallen Across The Road" is also worth noting. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, a form that is often associated with traditional poetry. The use of this meter creates a sense of rhythm and musicality in the poem, and gives it a kind of timeless quality. The poem is also structured as a series of four-line stanzas, with a rhyme scheme of ABBA. This gives the poem a sense of coherence and balance, and allows Frost to explore his themes in a clear and organized way.
In conclusion, "On a Tree Fallen Across The Road" is a powerful and evocative poem that explores themes of nature, mortality, and the passage of time. Frost's use of vivid language and form creates a sense of rhythm and musicality that draws the reader in and makes the poem memorable. Whether we see the fallen tree as an obstacle to be overcome, or as a reminder of our own mortality and the beauty of nature, the poem encourages us to reflect on our place in the world and the fleeting nature of our existence.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry On a Tree Fallen Across The Road: A Masterpiece of Robert Lee Frost
Robert Lee Frost, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, is known for his profound and thought-provoking works that explore the complexities of human nature and the natural world. Among his many masterpieces, "Poetry On a Tree Fallen Across The Road" stands out as a powerful and evocative piece that captures the essence of Frost's poetic vision.
The poem, which was first published in 1916, is a meditation on the nature of poetry and its relationship to the world around us. It begins with a vivid image of a fallen tree blocking a road, a symbol of the obstacles that we encounter in life. Frost then goes on to describe how this tree, with its "leafless sticks," has become a source of inspiration for him, a reminder of the power of poetry to transform even the most mundane objects into something beautiful and meaningful.
The poem is structured around a series of contrasts and paradoxes that reflect Frost's deep understanding of the complexities of human experience. For example, he contrasts the "leafless sticks" of the fallen tree with the "living tree" that once stood tall and strong, suggesting that even in death and decay there is beauty and meaning to be found. Similarly, he contrasts the "straighter, darker trees" that surround the fallen tree with the "crooked, whimsical" branches of the fallen tree itself, suggesting that there is value in embracing the imperfect and the unexpected.
Throughout the poem, Frost uses vivid and evocative language to create a sense of the natural world as a living, breathing entity that is intimately connected to our own experiences and emotions. He describes the "wind-worried" branches of the fallen tree, the "stony sleep" of the surrounding hills, and the "frozen swamp" that lies beyond the road, all of which serve to create a rich and immersive sensory experience for the reader.
At the heart of the poem, however, is Frost's exploration of the nature of poetry itself. He suggests that poetry is not simply a form of self-expression or a means of communicating ideas, but rather a way of engaging with the world around us and finding meaning in even the most mundane objects and experiences. He writes:
"It is as if a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues, 'Jug Jug' to dirty ears."
Here, Frost is referencing the myth of Philomela, a figure from Greek mythology who was transformed into a nightingale after being raped and mutilated by the king. Frost suggests that even in the face of such brutality and violence, there is still beauty and meaning to be found in the world, and that poetry has the power to capture and convey this beauty in a way that transcends language and culture.
In the final lines of the poem, Frost returns to the image of the fallen tree, suggesting that it is through the act of writing poetry that we are able to transform even the most mundane objects and experiences into something beautiful and meaningful. He writes:
"We ran as if to meet the moon That slowly dawned behind the trees, The barren boughs without the leaves, Without the birds, without the breeze.
But once within the wood, we paused Like gnomes that hid us from the moon, Ready to run to hiding new With laughter when she found us soon.
Each laid on other a staying hand To listen ere we dared to look, And in the hush we joined to make We heard, we knew we heard the brook.
A note as from a single place, A slender tinkling fall that made Now drops that floated on the pool Like pearls, and now a silver blade."
These lines are a testament to the power of poetry to transform even the most mundane objects and experiences into something beautiful and meaningful. Through the act of writing, Frost is able to imbue the fallen tree with a sense of magic and wonder, turning it into a symbol of hope and inspiration that transcends the limitations of language and culture.
In conclusion, "Poetry On a Tree Fallen Across The Road" is a masterpiece of Robert Lee Frost's poetic vision, a powerful and evocative meditation on the nature of poetry and its relationship to the world around us. Through vivid imagery, rich sensory detail, and a deep understanding of the complexities of human experience, Frost is able to capture the essence of what it means to be a poet, and to show us the transformative power of language and imagination. Whether read as a celebration of the natural world, a meditation on the human condition, or simply as a beautiful and moving piece of poetry, this timeless work is sure to inspire and delight readers for generations to come.
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