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7/17/2019

Robert Frost as a Nature poet.



We can form an idea of Frost as a poet of Nature from a study of the characteristics of his poetry. He can be called a poet of Nature though not in the sense that Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats were poets of Nature. He possessed an attitude to Nature entirely different from theirs, though on the surface he resembled them to a great extent.

So, overtly, Frost was a poet of Nature of the local and the regional like Wordsworth. The hills, dales, rivers and forests, flowers and trees and plants, birds, beasts, and even insects are accurately and succinctly described in his poems. Schneider says, “..... the descriptive power of Mr. Frost is to me the most wonderful thing in his poetry. A snowfall, a spring thaw, a bending tree, a valley mist, a brook, these are brought not to, but into, the experience of the reader". "A Hillside Thaw" gives a picture of the poet as if he were on his knees trying to feel with his hands the process of snow turning into water. "Birches” vividly depicts the habit and the reactions of the birch trees to a storm.

Wordsworth looked upon the pleasant and beneficial aspects of
Nature, but Frost had a keen eye for the sensuous and beautiful things in Nature as well as for the harsher and cruel and the unpleasant. Lynen says, "Even in Frost's most cheerful Nature sketches there is always a bitter sweet quality. Admittedly he can and does enjoy Nature." His flowers and trees and animals are all
described with affection, yet none of the Nature poems is free from the hints of possible danger, under the placid surface there is always the unseen presence of something hostile. "A Boundless Moment" gives us fresh glimpses of beauty:

Oh, that is the Paradise-in-bloom, I said,
And truly it was fair enough for flowers.

But “Spring Pools" gives us a sense of danger lurking behind the apparent beauty of pools and flowers:

The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods.

Spring is traditionally a season of birth, innocence and joy, but in this poem spring ushers in darkness. Treacherous forces are forever breaking through the pleasant surface of the landscape.

In the pantheistic poets of Nature, personality is ascribed to her, but Frost is different. He never sees in the natural world the pervading spirit which Wordsworth saw.

Sometimes Frost speaks directly to objects of Nature as does, Wordsworth but what is high seriousness in Wordsworth is fancy or humour in Frost.

Briefly speaking, Frost exhibits an ambivalent attitude to Nature an attitude of love, of fear; love for its beauty and fear for its sinister design. He draws beautiful pictures of Nature, its flora and fauna, its birds and beasts, but behind them there lurks something sinister, fearful, and hostile to man.

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