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Thesis Of Design By Robert Frost

From the oft quoted (and much misquoted) ‘The Road not Taken’ to ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ to his many pithy observations, he is one of the most quoted literary figures of all time.But he was, first and foremost, a poet of the rarest talent.

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Published rather inauspiciously in the same year as T.S. Eliot’s "TheWaste Land," Frost’s sonnet "Design" has weathered the yearssuccessfully. Its reputation has grown to such an extent that the poem, likeEliot’s, is now considered one of the century’s most explosive poeticstatements on the metaphysics of darkness. Indeed, historically"Design" can be located somewhere between the visionary expanse of"The Waste Land" and the mind-stretching speculations of HermanMelville’s chapter "The Whiteness of the Whale" in (1851).In paradigm, "Design" expresses the perplexing fears that respond toevidence that (1) human existence continues without supportive design andultimate purpose and (2) human existence is subject to a design of unmitigatednatural evil. In its details the poem appears to sustain both of thesecomplementary interpretations.

Birches by Robert Frost essay on Essay Tree

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost essay on Essay Tree

"Design" is Frost’s most carefully shaped investigation of thedarker implications of the classical argument from design. The poem did notspring into being fully formed after a single bout with the Muse. In 1912,apparently to put the poem on record as well as to try it on a sympatheticreader, Frost forwarded an early version to an old friend, calling it a sonnetfor his "’Moth and Butterfly’ book." Although he did not choose topublish this early version, the manuscript copy preserved among the papers ofSusan Hayes Ward enables us to trace Frost’s philosophical-aestheticdevelopment as he reworked the draft and rethought his ideas over a period often years.

Frost’s extant manuscript version of 1912 bears the title "InWhite," which, though it indicates the poem’s principal image and motif,does not have the thematic resonance of the simpler and more direct later title,"Design." A more explicit, if far less effective, title for the laterversion of the poem might combine the two "Design in White." Still,this title, arty and somewhat arch, would compromise Frost’s theme. Rather,concerned with any and all designs which would foster poetic and philosophicresonance, Frost revised his poem to make it more precise, so that each imagewould be appropriate and every word functional.

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The poem is in many ways the key to Frost's universe, a poem so perfect in itsexecution that one cannot imagine a word placed otherwise. Frost's tone is deftlycontrolled throughout, with the poet's serious point balanced nicely by the parodiclanguage of the first stanza. Ever aware of the linguistic roots of words, Frost isinwardly winking when he uses the word "rigid" to modify "satincloth." Likewise, at the end, he is certainly aware (as a former Latin teacher) thatthe word "appall" means "to make white" in its root sense. And Frostis delighting in the way he can wring an unexpected turn of meaning from the Classicalargument from design.

Up to this point, the scientist-poet has only permitted himself the emotional shock ofthe elements presented for his examination and he accepts them as specimens at random. Inthe sestet, however, he tries to solve the problems they pose and, as he does so, thetension suddenly breaks, along with the rhyme-scheme. In a series of negatives andoutraged rhetorical questions, he demands reasons for the strange combinations ofexistence. What is the 'design' behind all this, he asks. All he can summon up, by way ofan answer, is the following:

Robert Frost believed that poetry was the only way ..
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  • SparkNotes: Frost’s Early Poems: “The Road Not Taken”

    The Road Not Taken - Wikipedia

  • Robert Frost Essay The Figure A Poem Makes - Selçuk …

    11/09/2012 · A summary of “The Road Not Taken” in Robert Frost's Frost’s Early Poems

  • Bauld's English Website The Figure a Poem Makes by Robert Frost

    11/09/2012 · A summary of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” in Robert Frost's Frost’s Early Poems

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From Robert Frost: A Biography.

With this notion Emerson started hares in New England that have run from histime well into the twentieth century. In Emerson’s day Oliver Wendell Holmesproduced his variation on the theme, seeing it in terms of what might be calledPlatonic evolutionism in his poem "The Chambered Nautilus." Early inthis century Frost took up Emerson’s notion in two versions of the poem"Design" and had serious fun with it for a decade.

Poetry of Robert Frost @ Atta Galatta - Explocity - Bangalore

Robert Frost: Poems essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Robert Frost's poems.

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Little survives intact from one version of the poem to the other. Notably,only the ninth line of the early version—"What had that flower to do withbeing white"—survives without change in "Design." Lines 2, 6,and 11 are largely repeated, with changes only in capitalization or punctuationat the end of the line. The remaining ten lines, however, offer substantivechanges, which must be taken up line by line.

Robert Frost Thesis Statement - Robert Frost Thesis Statement

The simile in the first line, "like a snow drop white," which ispurely and neutrally descriptive, disappears along with another descriptiveword, "dented." In their place Frost offers three adjectives:"dimpled," "fat," and "white." The first two areunexpectedly appropriate for this murderous spider. Cleverly placed in the poem,these terms more often describe a baby than an insect. By replacing neutrallydescriptive terms with terms that would normally appear in another context inconnection with a different sentiment, Frost both announces his theme andreveals that his approach is basically ironic. In line 3 the moth, described as"a white piece of lifeless cloth" becomes "rigid satincloth." "Lifeless" is only vaguely descriptive of the moth’sstate; but it does not at all accurately reflect the tableau of the spiderholding up the moth. The moth may in fact be "lifeless," but the poemis more accurately descriptive when it compares the moth with "rigid"cloth. Hovering over this image is the hint of rigor mortis and the satin fabricwhich customarily lines the inside of coffins.

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Line 4 in the manuscript version is rather limp, lifeless. Thesemi-rhetorical question "Saw ever curious eye so strange a sight?"seriously deflects the central argument of the poem. In the final version Frostmoves the second half of the original fifth line, "assorted death andblight," to line 4 and extends it to "assorted characters of death andblight," thereby introducing the important metaphor of kitchen domesticitythat he will pursue through line 7. So, too, does he decide to drop the firstphrase of line 5 ("Portent in little")—this time, I would suggest,because "portent" is too potent at this point. Line 6 stays almostintact but no longer asks a question. Indeed, the two questions which dominatethe octave in the manuscript version are strategically dropped, so that the onlyquestions come in the sestet closing the poem. Lines 4 through 7 are intended,then, to suggest kitchens, cakes, and cookies ("Assorted,""ingredients," and "Mixed ready")—all as if drummed up byadvertisers "to begin the morning right." The only sour note is thatthe whole thing resembles "the ingredients of a witches’ broth."Still, it is "broth" and not "brew" (as we might expect ineveryday witchcraft); "broth" echoes the culinary metaphor.

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