While the poems are no doubt universal, we can see elements of Americana sprinkled throughout them. Cultural issues such as decision-making, the pressure of responsibility and duty, and the complexity of death emerge in many poems, allowing us to see society's influence on the poet. In "The Road Not Taken," we see how life is filled with choices. Because we are American, we are lucky enough to experience freedom but this does not always come without difficulty. With this poem, the narrator explains how decision-making can be trying because we never actually know how things are going to turn out. Nevertheless, we must make choices and get on with our lives. In "Stopping by Woods," the narrator encounters a similar type of conflict in that the pull of our fast-paced American lives makes him or her want to stay in the woods for just a little while to enjoy the peace and serenity of it all. The promises to keep and the miles to go indicate that the poet may have more on his plate than he can handle - a typical symptom of many overworked American personalities. In "Design," we see death, and the questions that it brings. This poem presents the cultural issue of how death affects us and what lies ahead in the afterlife. Americans seem to be terribly distracted with differing views on this subject and Frost captures the essence of much controversy with this tiny image of a spider, a moth, and a plant.
These poems relate to one another because they all deal with specific elements of nature and how those elements represent a certain aspect of our human lives. In "The Road Not Taken," the roads represent the choices of life. In "Stopping by Woods," the peaceful woods represent the conflict of society and nature and the tiniest aspects of nature represent the larger subject matter of death in "Design." These poems also share the common element of the poet's ability to utilize rhyme and meter. While the form of each poem is different, we can see the poet's talent for constructing complex poetry that reads simply. These poems also demonstrate how Frost is able to focus in on one very specific point in time and expound on it. Overgrown paths in the forest, snow-filled woods, spiders, and moths seem to be insignificant but Frost manages to pull something of meaning out of these rather ordinary occurrences.
These aspects of Frost's poetry work together, making the poet popular to many.
Robert Frost is considered on of America's most renowned poets because of easy style. While his poems read well and seem like they are about simple things, we can always find another reason for the poem if we look long enough. Frost's ability to capture large aspects of life in very small events is only one reason why he remains one of literature's favorite poets. Frost was also all-American. His poems are laced with issues that we encounter almost everyday. In addition, Frost is respected as a poet because of his style. He was a wizard at creating captivating images and he was very successful in utilizing literary techniques such as symbolism, metaphor, and simile. In "The Road Not Taken," "Stopping by Woods," and "Design," we see perfect examples of how the poet worked on many levels to create poems that caused people to stop and think about what he was saying. His poems were tolls in that they force us to look at big issues in life and consider them in different lights. The choices we face in life, the civilized world that sometimes makes us crazy, and the issue of death and the afterlife are issues that Frost prompts us to think about in poetry that is about nature. Frost deserves his place in American literature in that he succeeds in making us think about many aspects of life whether they are large or small.
Frost, Robert. "Design." The Harper American Literature, Single Volume. 3rd Ed. New York: Longman. 1998.
Stopping by Woods." The Harper American Literature, Single Volume. 3rd Ed. New York: Longman. 1998.