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A review of robert frosts poem nothing gold can stay

It is a compressed piece of work in which each word and sound plays its part in full. Written when Frost was 48 years old, an experienced poet, whose life had known grief and family tragedy, the poem focuses on the inevitability of loss - how nature, time and mythology are all subject to cycles.

As with many a Frost poem, close observation of the natural world is the foundation for building poetic truths, inside of which lie hidden messages and ideas. As the leaves start to show in the season of spring they are perceived as gold, but soon turn to familiar green and before too long they're fading as victims of time. So it's possible to pick out three distinct associations: Eden - how humans experience grief and shame.

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. Analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay Nothing Gold Can Stay is predominantly iambic trimeter in rhythm, that is, there are three regular stress beats to most lines, except lines 1 and 8, which contain trochees and spondees: The spondee slows the reader down, whilst the emphasis on the very first syllable reinforces the surge that is spring's growth.

Analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost

This combination is crucial in importance as it underlines the idea that life is a transient thing, fleeting, and not what it seems. For how can green be gold?

Note the contrast of the meter in lines 1 and 8, it breaks away from the traditional da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM of the steady iambic, a sure sign that the poet wants the reader to sit up and take note. Rhyme All the end rhymes are full which definitely makes the poem easier to remember and brings a certain repetitive familiarity to the poem, a reflection of the seasonal cycle perhaps?

  • There are no unnecessary words, which is quite the feat given the rhyming lines!
  • Lines one and three of the first quatrain, containing the nearly synonymous first and early, are each affirmations eroded by the following lines;
  • Then leaf subsides to leaf;
  • Kennedy, and Robert Frost;
  • The second type of cycle is in mythical form, with the image of Eden, which is symbolic of humankind.

Frost was a classicist after all, and much preferred to rhyme his lines. Alliteration There are several alliterative lines: Further Analysis Line By Line Lines 1 - 4 A simple observation is given a twist in the first line, as the emerging shoots of green turn into gold, either a trick of the sunlight or perceived impression.

A metaphor nevertheless, gold being that most precious thing, of most value. Her hardest hue - rich alliteration and a hint of personification as Mother Nature struggles to keep hold of this new fresh gold. Time is against her as the season begins to unfurl and with it the leaves, changing color colour in UK all too quickly. A repeat of 'Her' to remind the reader of the cyclic process. The leaf now transforms into a flower, that is, it represents the transient state of life, fleeting existence.

On Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Add a little hyperbole - the season is reduced to about one hour! That is some short life span. The poet is saying that time passes so fast; blink an eye and it's gone. Lines 5 - 8 Again there is the focus on the leaf, each deciduous tree's budding acknowledgement of the return of spring.

Mordecai Marcus: On Nothing Gold Can Stay

Each leaf becomes less active as time wears on; they fade away as sure as the temperature starts to drop and the days become shorter. Subsides is an interesting word to use in this context - its root is from the latin subsidere which means to settle or sink. Line six brings with it the relation to the human condition, specifically the old testament Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve's lives fell into shame because of their disobedience.

The parallels are clear - perfect, ideal situations don't last forever. Dawn will always be a temporary state, it will slide away into day as surely as day will slide into night and so on and so forth.

  1. The poem must be tightly constructed but not so rigidly that its effect feels forced or predetermined. Obviously, in spring the trees will bud and flower before growing back their leaves.
  2. Cunningham, Theodore Roethke, X. If the flower lasted only an hour, the leaf, the poem suggests, survives for longer.
  3. But nothing golden stays. What Does the Poem Mean?

Precious 'golden' times and states, by their very nature, are destined to change into something that may not always be ideal, so the message is to take full advantage of what is precious and valuable.