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A poem is a piece of writing in which words are artistically put together to stir emotion, describe complex issues, invoke thinking or pass any other message as intended by the composer. In a more general sense, poetry is a genre of literature that has unique way of communicating the subject matter as opposed to the normal prose. A number of lines in a poem make up a stanza and the whole poem always has a subject matter or a theme. A poem may, as the poet wishes, encompass so many aspects including but not limited to: rhyme, syllable pattern, repetition, figures of speech (similes and metaphors), use of idioms, alliteration and personification. In this analysis, only a few shall be analyzed that is language use, metaphorical references, the theme and words choice. This shall be accomplished by analyzing two of Robert Frost's poems: 'Design' and 'The Road Not Taken'.
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which two unlike things, people or events are likened by a certain commonality. For instance, a poem may liken a man to a lion as in 'My uncle is a lion' to mean that both are brave. In every poem, language is used differently depending on the lexical predisposition on the poet, the theme of the poem or even the mood. Language use and the choice of words point are almost the same in application. The theme of a poem is its subject matter, its intention, its message.
The poem Design is a fantastic work by Frost Robert that philosophizes the wonders of nature through interrelationships of small animals. According to Tuten and Zubizarreta (2001), the poem was inspired by the theological propositions that revelation about God could only be seen in the created things; flowers, spiders and moths being some of them. They further wonder what kind of universe Frost was describing with such 'big words' as 'dimbled', 'assorted' 'appal' and 'ingredients of witches' broth'. Although the poem can be analyzed from many perspectives, this analysis shall only consider the theme of the poem, the use of language and metaphors.
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The poem discusses themes of ontology and metaphysics whose speculation is triggered by discovery of spider-moth scene staged on a 'white heal-all' (line 2). Tuten and Zubizarreta cautions that the persona should not be confused for 'a person of little faith' or atheist but should be appreciated for his wonderment about the nature of the Design, the farness of the 'designer's' abode and the self-sufficiency of all phenomena of the design. The poem thus invites attention on its own design.
With regard to language use, the first stanza is more descriptive while the second is more derogatory. This means that Frost first describes the situation and then asks questions based on what he saw. The reference to wings being carried 'like a paper kite' tries to make intelligible the scenario because left the way it is, very little can be made out of it. The situation is further amplified by the description 'like a white piece of rigid satin cloth'. The moth is also metaphorized as 'witches' broth'. However, in view of this inspection, metaphors have not been sufficiently used.
'The Road Not Taken' is yet another poem of much academic aesthetics. Its main them is decision making. Pfeiler (2003) categorizes the poem as 'lyric poem' that is a poem that expressly communicates one feeling or that which has musical qualities just like a song. He descrides lyric poems as producing sounds through sentences. For instance, the repetition of the word 'I' exhibits some kind of blame on the part of the persona thus communicating that ones destiny always lies on their own single nod. More specifically, the 'I' repetition in line fourteen and fifteen depicts the persona's state of confusion and a humanly indecisive nature (Pfeiler, 2003). It was very essential for Robert Frost to choose words the way he did; he completely brought out the mood of the poem- some kind of regret for making the wrong choice. A phrase like '...in the wood...' used in the first and last stanza signify 'the world' into which the persona got lost, a consequence of his/her wrong decision.
The poems 'Design' and 'The Road Not Taken' are good pieces of art by Robert Frost to convey his message to the readers. In both poems, language has been appropriately used especially in line with the mood of the poems. Although metaphors have not been well applied in the poem 'Design', Frost has sufficiently communicated the two themes; Metaphysics and making of choices.