The Presentation of Nature in Robert Frost's Poetry
Many of Robert Frost's poems contain the vital ingredient of 'nature'.
Frost uses nature as a metaphor, primarily, in his poems to express
the intentions of his poems. He uses nature as a background metaphor
in which he usually begins a poem with an observation of something in
nature and then moves towards a connection to some human situation. He
uses rural landscapes, homely farmers and the natural world to
illustrate this human psychological struggle with everyday situations
that we seem to experience.
Frost uses blank verse in "The Wood-Pile" by using an iambic
pentameter. This is very typical of Frost in his nature poetry. We get
this use of iambic pentameter in "Mending Wall" and "After
Apple-Picking". In "The Wood-Pile", some lines are blank verse, "To
warm the frozen swamp as best it could" However, other lines present
more stress and great irregularity, as in line 26, with its six
stresses and spondaic emphasis on this year's snow, "No runner tracks
in this year's snow looped near it."
In "The Wood-Pile", the speaker sees a bird, which eventually leads
him to the wood-pile. Frost then uses his sense of ambiguity, which he
does to most of his poems. In "The Wood-Pile", the speaker is in
effect taking nature (the bird) as personally communicating with him,
as if nature were concerned with what decision he makes, go back or
keep going on? Perhaps then Frost wanted the reader to convey the
decaying wood-pile as the depth of nature's concern.
The poem sees a man walking through a frozen swamp. He is stuck in a
decision of whether to go ahead or not, nature is forcing him to make
such a decision, but he decides to continue on and ends up getting
lost. Paths in woods are ancient and deep-seated metaphors for the
lifeline, to crises and decisions. The speaker does not know which
road to take; neither of the roads is less travelled by. He has to
make a decision and at the end of the day, the nature of the decision
is that there is no Right path, just a chosen path and the other path
as show in "The Road Not Taken".
"The Wood-Pile" is appealing, but the point Frost is trying to make
could be perhaps speaking of human effort and what it comes to or
hinting at despair. But the last two lines are warming and carves
itself into the poem permanently, perhaps ending the poem with a sense
of hope, in that the wood decays, generating heat, which makes it have
some uses, even though it has been abandoned and left to rot, yet it
is a hopeless task all the same. In "The Wood-Pile", there was 'hard
snow', which held the speaker back from going any further, but the
speaker persists on, but to only get lost. This leads the speaker to
the woodpile to a...