Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Essay
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Journal entry, 1923. Yesterday evening, I stopped my horse in the woods. I figured no-one would see me since the owner of the land, I think, lives in town. It was a beautiful forest, with trees so dense and far back that they would block out any sunlight. For some reason, I wanted to stay awhile and feel the wind on my face and watch as a light snow began to cover the trees. But I felt a little foolish. It was so cold that the lake on the other side of me was frozen solid and I can’t even remember being out on a night as dark as it was last night.
Even my horse began to act a little strange, shaking his head so the bells on his harness broke the silence. I needed to get back home anyway. I had told Trudy I’d be back before her parents came over for dinner and, after that, I had to finish grading some papers I promised the students I’d return the next day . . . Is that all? It is both arrogant and annoying to write about what a poet really meant? However, it most certainly should be assumed that the poet knows at least as much as we do. People sometimes make decisions for reasons they later question.
The night before an exam, for example, you’re studying when your best friend calls. “I’m feeling lonely,” Janie says, “let’s go out and have some fun. ” “How can I let Janie down? ” you think, and after a night of partying you fall into bed to get a few hours sleep before your exam. After you read the first question, which may as well have been written in Greek, you think: “Who was I kidding? Janie was a great excuse to stop studying. ” Or maybe after college you hear the call of industry and you claw your way up to become Senior Vice President in Charge of Major Something or Other.
Thirty years later, you may say to yourself, “what was I thinking? What I heard was the call of social convention telling me to waste my life doing something useless and boring and soul-numbing. I was afraid to even try becoming the violinist I wanted to be. ” Journal entry, 1928. Last night, I went back to that forest. It was as cold as it was last time and again snow had begun to fall. This time, I hitched my horse to a tree and sat down on a blanket. The wind against my face felt great. I felt great, as if I had escaped from a prison, as if I had finally stopped suffocating. I relaxed and began to think.
I married Trudy because my parents told me to. Hell, she married me because her parents told her to. We’re both bored senseless. I wanted to teach just about as much as my students wanted to learn. I wanted to grade those damned papers about as much as my students wanted to write them. I was glad only five years had gone by. I’m still not sure what I’ll end up doing. For now though, I’m heading out West. I’ll work on a ranch, maybe I’ll ride in rodeos.
Frost, Robert. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. 1923. 15 February 2008 <http:// www. ketzie. com/frost/snowyeve. htm>.
Subject: Bretton Woods,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 April 2017
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