English Literature » Notes » Robert Frost as a Poet of Nature

Robert Frost as a Poet of Nature

Robert Frost depicts the bright and the dark aspects, the benevolent and the hostile forces of Nature in his poems on realistic terms.

Critics have a difference of opinion over his designation of a poet of Nature. Alvarez says that:

Frost is not a Nature poet.

One point of view on which almost all the critics agree is Frost’s minute observation and accurate description of the different aspects of nature in his poems. Schneider says:

The descriptive power of Mr. Frost is to me the most wonderful thing in his poetry. A snowfall, a spring thaw, a bending tree, a valley mist, a brook, these are brought into the experience of the reader.

For illustration, these lines from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” may be quoted:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,

These lines depict not only the beauty and the mystery of the snow filled woods which hold the poet almost spell-bound but also describe the helplessness of the poet who has no time because of his social commitments. Thus the beauty of Nature and obligations of human life are treated by Frost as two aspects of poet’s one whole experience in these lines.

Frost is primarily a realist who abstruse the things around him and in nature as they are and describes them as such. That is why nature changes its character from poem to poem in his poetry.

In “Two Tramps in Mud Time”, if on the one hand, he shows New England poised between cold and warmth, winter and spring, on the other hand, he does not miss to show the turmoil and storm brewing under the apparently beautiful calm of nature. Therefore, he interrupts his genial description of the April weather to warm:

Be glad of water, but don’t forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal firth after the sun is set
And snow on the water its crystal teeth.