How far do you agree with the view that Frost’s poems are about personal events and have no universal significance?
Frost’s poetry contains themes of death, nature, human significance/ limitation and particularly isolation. These themes which are woven into many of his works are realistic messages applicable to all people, yet they appear to have a personal meaning to Frost himself.
The first theme of death, or sleep as Frost often subtly conceals it, is apparent in two poems in particular- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and After Apple-Picking. In Stopping by Woods, Frost uses the sheer scale of the snow covered forest to emphasize the insignificance of mankind in the grand scheme of things. ‘He will not see me stopping here, to watch his woods fill up with snow’ demonstrates the lack of control that the narrator has, as he is only an onlooker and cannot alter nature. This assists the reader in acknowledging the isolation felt- either by Frost himself or the sense of loneliness everyone experiences at some point in their lifetime.
Frost concludes the aforementioned poem with the words ‘But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep- and miles to go before I sleep.’ It is highly probable this sleep is a metaphorical reference to death, and the narrator in the poem wants to embrace an end at the time he is in the woods. Frost’s final words of the poem, however, show us that no matter what the narrator wants he is in subjection to nature and his insignificance means that he must carry on with his responsibilities until fate decides he can rest.
These are themes that re appear in After Apple-Picking when a man who has worked hard picking apples has decided to stop, for ‘I have had too much of apple-picking, I am overtired of the great harvest I myself desired’. Like in Stopping by Woods, the narrator has become weary of a former lifestyle and has decided that he will accept either a literal or metaphorical sleep- although nature and fate...