Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Woods forest, trees
Village small town
Queer strange, unusual
Harness the ropes that hold a horse
Sweep smooth movement across
Downy fluffy, soft
Deep very wide, big
Promise to guarantee you will do something
Keep to do what you promised
The person who owns this land
Lives in the village
And he will not see me
Watching the snow fall in the trees.
My horse must wonder
Why would we stop here
In the middle of the forest
In the cold and the dark
My horse shakes his bells
To show me he is confused.
The only other sound is
The wind blowing the snow.
The forest is so big and beautiful,
But I have things to do,
And I still have a long way
To go before I sleep.
The person in this poem is alone just like in Frost's other poem "The Road Not Taken." This is a very American way of thinking about ourselves. It is about being an individual and being responsible for ourselves. Each one of us must make decisions about our lives on our own.
To really understand this poem you have to experience this moment yourself. To be alone in the forest in winter. Not lost, but alone. With night coming on. Snow makes the whole world still and silent. There are no animals moving or calling out. It is a very peaceful, calming feeling. In that moment you might feel that you could let go. Let go of everything in your life that you are supposed to be responsible for and stay forever in the quiet and the calm. The suggestion in the poem is that you could even let go of life itself. You could die and be at peace forever; the woods ARE lovely, dark, and deep. There is nothing to be afraid of.
But we are also part of a community and we have responsibilities, promises of family an friendship. It is not time to go, yet. But that time will come. And it will be ok.
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