A Look At Darkness Inside Daytime English Literature Essay

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Poetry is a way of putting your innermost thoughts into words that can speak for themselves, and expressing a message as if it is a picture in an individuals mind. Within Robert Frost's poems, "Acquainted with the Night," "Desert Places," "Home Burial," and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," are all represented by the theme of darkness.

To start off, "Acquainted with the Night," is using the night to describe isolation, loneliness, and depression. There is a somber and sad tone, which creates a poem about acceptance to depression. Using the imagery of walking in a dark, dangerous city helps to show an experience of guilt. The important lines by Robert Frost is, "One luminary clock against the sky / proclaimed that time was neither wrong nor right" (12-13). These lines acknowledge to the author, that time does not have an importance towards him, because his loneliness will never end. Said by Kyoko Amano:

"With its conventional symbol of the "night" in the title, opening line, and the line. Frost's "Acquainted with the Night" invites its readers to examine death and grief expressed in the poem. Yet the "night" should not be taken as a conventional symbol; rather, the darkness of the night represents the symbols, form, and structure of a poem that no other poet has explored in the past" (39-42)

With the narrator being unable to make eye contact with the watchman, this shows him being ashamed and weak. He simply wants to be alone to think about his sadness. When Robert hears an interrupted cry within his lines, "But not to call me back or say good-by," shows that he is left out and emphasizing loneliness (8-10).

In addition, the next poetry by Frost, "Desert Places," gives details about loneliness, inner depression, and emptiness. The internal isolation Robert faces is the dark side of his mind. His personal emotions may be tucked away and covered up, but they are still there no matter what. Being a man trapped in a place of solitude, Robert recognizes the loneliness of nature, but still feels more alone than the surroundings. As he states in the lines of his poem, "And the ground almost covered smooth in snow / But a few weeds and stubble sowing last" (3-4). Frost is telling us that even if humans and nature surround you, you can still be lonely because that is not what life is completely about. It is about interacting with people, achieving happiness, making changes in your life to express emotions, and doing what you specifically want to do. As Ronald Beiganowski from Marquette University states:

"The poet culminates his resistance to the dying world about him with his recognizing a metaphoric correspondence between it and himself in terms of desert places. Specifically as a metaphor, desert places represent his expression, his having something to express, of himself" (21).

Robert uses the winter landscape as a metaphor for his mental depression. He feels powerless and trapped within suffocating feelings.

Now, along those same lines by Robert Frost, "Home Burial," contains emotional grief and death of a four-year-old child. The mother in the poem feels as if the man has not expressively mourned the deceased; and the man feels as if the woman has refused to accept of the child's death. This piece of work is about a struggle and collapse of a couple. Because the couple has to deal with the grief of the loss of their child, they are acting differently towards each other, at a time they need to support one another most. In the lines, Robert states, "The nearest friends can go / With anyone to death, comes so fart short / They might as well not try to go at all," (97-99). This is the grievance the mother throws at her husband to accuse him of not caring at all. Their relationship is uncommunicative, making both of them unable to understand each one another's feelings. Stated by Robert P. Ellis:

"The man is expected to be stoical, tight-lipped in adversity. Having learned to hide his feelings, he is unable to express them in a way recognizable to his wife, with her different emotional orientation. She has watched with a kind of horror his energetic digging at the gravesite; he has made the gravel "leap up . . . and land so lightly." [. . .] she draws the conclusion that, because he does not grieve overtly as she does, he has no feelings. Because he is inexpert at oral communication, he cannot say the kind of thing that might alleviate her grief" (1).

The strain and the burial have only mixed up their pain. The emotions throughout the case of "Home Burial" include grief, mourning, fear, anger, and love, which are a result of death.

Lastly, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," being one of the greatest poems in American history written by Frost, due to the fact it has never been completely interpreted. To each and every person it has different meanings. The poem lulls readers into deep contemplations of life with its words. Even when our mind leaves the poem itself and begins to wander through other situations we have experienced in our own lives, it has done its job. In my personal opinion, with Robert stating in the line, "The darkest evening of the year," clearly symbolizes death or morbid thoughts (8). In its simplest break down the poem is about death and you can even dig deeper to come to see it is possibly about suicide. Stated by Bernhard Frank from Buffalo State University:

"The speaker enumerates now the reasons why he should not be stopping: the place is cold, dark, and deserted. The very reasons why the speaker did want to stop-the loneliness of the night, and the absence of social critic, now are offered as incentives to move on. Clearly the speaker is in conflict: the moment away from the world both calls, siren-like, and terrifies. It may seem to him that (just like the followers of the sirens) he would be drawn into death if he truly stopped; but we know that this is not so-through introspection and fusion with the universe he would find life; and this is what he is, in fact, afraid of" (44).

At the end the poem, Frost shows sleep as death and how he chooses that he will live longer. He must return to the pattern of his life, for family, friends and himself.

In conclusion, Robert Frost's poems show many effects of how one choice could change the rest of our lives. Many meanings towards his poems show the theme of darkness to represent death, tragedies, loneliness, depression, and even isolation. Poetry, all together, is an excellent way of learning to make individual decisions for each and everyone's lives.

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