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Themes of Gathering Leaves Essay

The poem is about the absurdity of life. He is actually arguing that humans waste their time on trifles which nobody needs. He mentions animals (deer and rabbits) and that is because animals don’t need to interfere with nature. Elements which are in the poem Gathering leaves: Robert Frost was the very embodiment of juxta-positionings, which he used in order to create tension throughout his poems. The poem Gathering Leaves is a great example of this, with the rhythm is greatly contrasted with the far depressed and sorrowful theme of the poem.

The form of the poem is very representative of the themes within it. In the same way in which it seems brief, and in contrast to many of Frost’s other pieces, to be lacking in any sort of meat (by which i mean large blocks of text in similarity to that of ‘The Black Cottage’- pardon my metaphor vegetarians, for i find a similar pleasure in the use of metaphors as Frost does). This poem is a comment on both the monotony of life, yet with at points an almost upbeat outlook, and the way in which man and natures’ cyclical nature is linked.

The way in which Frost describes the harvest is bleak in its presentation of an impossible task- ‘the mountains i raise, elude my embrace’, and ‘i may load and unload’, as well as showing a slight menace in the setting- autumn, the liminal stage between life and death, summer and winter, as all nature begins to die- coupled with examples such as the fifth stanza, ‘they grew dulled from contact with earth, next to nothing for colour’, hinting at a decaying state.

Frost, in the final stanza, then also presents a final view of the ‘harvest’ of leaves which can be interpreted as both cynical and positive. ‘a crop is a crop’ suggests the optimistic outlook that everything in nature and in the world has intrinsic value, and this continues ‘and who’s to say where The harvest shall stop? ‘ shows, as previously stated, the cyclical nature, and at once it contains both menacing and vital connotations. he nature of a harvest is that of something which a human relies upon for their wellbeing, hinting at the previously mentioned theme of dependence between man and nature, and yet the sense of desperate monotony and hopelessness i also apparent, coming after such lines as ‘i may load and unload Again and again’, as the actions of the narrator are intertwined with the cyclical nature of the seasons and nature itself.


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