Symbolism and Themes in Nothing Gold Can Stay, a Poem by Robert Frost

Categories: Nothing Gold Can Stay

When something is “too good to be true”, it most likely turns out to be false. Yet, when analyzing the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” written by Robert Frost, it goes deeper into something being “too good to be true” and brings out symbolic pieces of evidence. This evidence can, in turn, focus the reader on the implied themes throughout the poem.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” has developed may themes such as that of peace. The way Frost wrote the poem gives the reader a sense of peace and unity between both the text and each symbolic fragment of the text.

When analyzing the first line, “Nature’s first green is gold,” right at the start, the reader is stricken with peace because Frost wrote the poem in the respective way as to depict nature’s first “green” or, appearance, as being gold. This may seem confusing at it states, “green is gold”, but the audience can imply that, in more literal terms, when first looking, or even thinking about nature in general, the readers may notice the color green, whether it be on trees, flowers, etc.

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This brings up the odd statement that nature’s appearance is actually gold. One may assume the meaning of the term “gold” can concur to the relationship between the sun and the plants. As the sun slowly drops down, changing the time of day to dawn, there is a moment when the leaves have the perfect amount of sunshine reflecting off of them, causing them to appear gold.

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Just as an individual may think the color of nature appears to be green, another can also see the appearance of nature in a different way such as, gold.

Although, the text mention nature’s appearance as “gold”, the connection of how its appearance turns “gold” and why it doesn’t stay “gold”, is implied throughout the entire poem. As mentioned before, when the crack of dawn comes, sunshine hits the leaves making them appear to be “gold”. This only happens for a moment. That is why the author wrote, “Her hardest hue to hold”, hence the relations to why the “gold” appearance only lasts for moments on end. There is a form of personification introduced in the text when stating, “Her hardest hue to hold”. Frost referred to nature in general as a woman, along with the fact that nature was trying to hold on or grasp the color of the leaves for a longer time then capable. This personification also has a symbolic meaning to the text, as nature is depicted as wanting to grasp the beautiful scenery of gold that was brought upon the earth.

The author is also able to use imagery very well in this poem, as it states, “So Eden sank to grief.” For many people, they would make the connection to The Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was a paradise earth until sin was brought to the world, and it became off limits and nothing more than the rest of the world. The Garden of Eden Symbolizes the aspect of something being “too good to be true.” When Eden was first brought upon the earth, all around was a paradise, a beautiful paradise. Just as “Eden sank to grief”, one can imagine that, that would be how an individual would feel if something so beautiful and close to their hearts was no longer obtainable to those individuals. This also holds a symbolic message in the text showing that The Garden of Eden symbolizes anything beautiful or great. Frost also included in the last two lines that, “dawn goes down today”, meaning the moments of beauty are not able to last forever as the dawn goes down the reader realizes, “Nothing gold can stay.”.

The symbolism used in this piece of text is specific to one detail. Anything that would be considered “gold” is not going to last forever. One can relate this to biological terms and can consider life to be “gold”, as the human race has its imperfections and are unable to obtain everlasting life, “so dawn goes down” on humans. This beautiful poem allows the reader to think of anything they have loved and lost, and creates a symbolic dimension full of all the sorrows in the world. As Frost wrote, “Nothing gold can stay.”


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Symbolism and Themes in Nothing Gold Can Stay, a Poem by Robert Frost. (2022, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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