“ Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost and “ On his Blindness,” John Milton are poems simply written but tell volume about the speakers state of mind; how they find tranquility in places where most people would be miserable
Frost’s poem is written in iambic meter and in the first three stanza lines one, two and four rhyme. In the last stanza all four lines rhyme and the last two lines are the same emphasizing the speaker’s need be on his way. Milton’s poem/sonnet is compatible to Frost’s like him; he has an irregular rhyming scheme, and the length of his lines even though they are in iambic meter, they are irregular. The diction of both poems is uncomplicated but despite the brevity of the poems the reader is easily transpose to the emotions of each poet.
Frost begins his poem with the question, “ Whose wood these are?” This seems redundant since he immediately answers himself. Frost is building up the reader to the sensation of danger that lurks in the woods. The owner trades the glorious sight of the woods filling up with snow to live in the village. Because the owner knows the danger of living alone in his woods. In the second stanza Frost seems to realize his folly, however he cannot leave the wood just yet, he is mesmerized by its beauty. He personifies his horse and makes it his voice of reasoning. He says; “ My little horse must think it queer.” The horse has become his travelling companion and is asking him why are you stopping there is no house in sight ; this is the darkest night of the year, and you are stopping to watch the snow fall, Frost places the speaker in eminent danger caught between the lake and the woods; you are not making sense stopping “ Between the woods and the frozen lake/ The darkest evening of the year.”
This conversation is having no effect on Frost; he finds a certain kind of serenity as he watches the snow fall, for a moment he has no cares he is dead to the rest of the world around him. The horse, his companion decides that he cannot reason with him at this moment he must do something else to take him out of this trance; it shakes him to his senses, “ He gives his harness bells a shake/ To ask if there is some mistake.” The horse is still his human companion and is tries again to shake Frost back to the present. Frost presents to his reader that he is doing something that an ordinary person would be too frighten to do, but the scenery compels him to stay. Carl Kolchak has another interpretation of Frost’s emotion at the time:: ;” Between the woods and frozen lake”’ paints the picture of the aloneness and isolation that this man is feeling as he sits in the cold. His situation in life and his point of view regarding it, indeed make this, for him at that moment, the ‘ darkest evening of the year” (yahoo Network, 2006).
Another man would be making great haste to put the lake and the woods behind him. The horse is not just impatient; he is alarm that a mental malady has taken over Frost. As the snow falls several things can happen to them: they could be attack by man as well as animal; and worse they could completely hide their path and leave them to wander aimlessly in the woods. At last he seems to break through to Frost, and he suddenly return to the matter at hand, getting out of the woods. The horse is back to being a horse and Frost is back to being Frost. As Frost returns to himself, abruptly his tone changes as he realized that he has wasted precious time in the woods, that he has other commandment that needs his prompt attention. In the last stanza he says: “ I have promises to keep/ and miles to go before I sleep.” He repeats this line again to enforce the urgency of his obligation
In lines five to ten Milton imagine the dialogue he would have with God when he meets him in heaven and the Lord requires an account of the of the talent he was given. He said he could be like the Stewart and tells him that he took away his ability to use his one talent; therefore, he kept it safe so he could give it back to him when they meet. Milton is saying that that would be a fair reply but it would not be his reply since he will not keep his talent dormant because it is his obligation to exercise the gift that is given to and find a way to make his adversity work for the Lord. Moreover, God would say: “ God does need/ Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best/ Bears his mild yoke, they serve him best in state / Is kingly, thousand at his bidding speed.” Knowing that God would be displeased with him he felt it his duty to please both himself and God.
Kerry Michael Woods gives his expresses his interpretion of Milton’s first four line of the sonnet:
Milton knows that despite his physical debility, it is spiritual death not to factitively employ his God-given talents“ Lest He, returning, chide.” He is about to ask foolishly (“ fondly”). if God expects” day –labor” of one who is blind. But patience silences his complaint (“ murmur”), and declares that those who silently bear their misfortunes serve God in doing so. Then comes the well –known concluding line with its myriad of interpretations: “ They also serve who only stand and wait” (2010)
As Milton continues his monologue, he acknowledges that using his talent is serving God; and God wants his creatures to diligently use whatever they are give to show their appreciation, Milton could not think of a greater sin than not fulfilling his responsibility to God and he believes that it should be everyone’s desire to bless others with their gifts as praise to God. Thus The last two line of his sonnet reads:” And post over land and ocean without rest;/ They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Frost and Milton are two famous poets who use simply language and their knowledge of their environment, Frost about nature and Milton about his blindness, in their poetry to intertwine their readers’ emotions with theirs. They have a unique way of surprising their readers, just when the readers think they have ciphered out what they are saying in the very next line, the readers have to alter their opinions.
Kolchak, Carl. (2006). “ Analysis Robert Frost’s, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Yahoo Network. Retrieved march 23, 2006.
Wood, Kerry Michael, (2010) “ On Analysis of John Milton and his Blindness” Wikinut“ Retrieved March 23, 2010