Robert Frost as a poet of nature

Question: Evaluate Robert Frost as a poet of nature. Robert Frost as a poet of nature


From a study of the characteristics of his poetry, we can form an idea about Robert Frost as a poet of nature. Though he differs in his attitude towards nature from most of the nature poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, or Keats, he shows an abundance of evidence for us to regard him as a poet of nature.

Various moods of nature

Robert Frost is a poet of nature not in a single mood of nature but in various moods of nature. There is hardly any poem of Frost that does not declare a number of moods of nature. Especially his poems of “North of Boston” are replete with sundry moods of nature. Through the moods of nature Frost especially represents a different kind of dramatic incidents of human life.  John F. Lynen says, “Even in Frost’s most cheerful sketches there is always a bitter-sweet quality”. From this remark, we get that Frost’s natural depiction is versatile.

“When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay

As ice-storms do.”

By the above lines, the poet means to limn that when nature is tame the tree is normal, nature is stormy the tree has to tolerate much. Here we get two moods of nature at least.

Local and a regional poet of nature

Frost is found to be a poet of nature of the local and regional. The local and regional natural feature of his poetry is from the North of Boston. His descriptive power is the most wonderful thing in his poetry. The snowfall, bending tree, and valley mist a brook which is from his own locality is depicted in a simple way but brings huge experience for the readers universally. He never describes nature as a spectacle only. In the poem “Birches”, Frost depicts the birch trees to uphold vividly their habit and how they meet a storm.

Nature as a symbol of man’s revelation

The casual reader of Robert Frost‘s poetry may think that Frost is a poet of nature in the tradition of Wordsworth. In a sense, nature is his subject, but to Frost, it is never an impulse from a vernal fresh wood. His best poetry concerned with the drama of man in nature. On the other hand, Wordsworth is generally best for emotionally displaying the wide scene or panorama of the natural world. Once, Frost himself said in a television interview “I guess I am not a nature poet.” He said later “I have only two poems without a human being in them.” Frost’s conception of the natural world is concerned with man’s relation to nature. By this sense, the poet means to say that the natural world is the revelation of man because different senses of nature are the symbolic meaning of human society and nature.

“Life is too much like a pathless wood”

By this line of the poem “Birches”, Frost has a unique insight into man’s revelation with nature.

Nature as both menace and comfort

There is no other poet in the history of English literature who is as illustrious as Frost because he treats nature as both a menace and a comfort. Nature is the mother and home of man but it is at the same time utterly indifferent and even hostile to him. The readers get panorama or wide scene of nature in his poems such as dark woods, beaches, stars, frozen brooks, and lakes which are sometimes comfortable and a matter of fear. In the poem “Tree at My Window”, nature is sensational but symbolically it expresses the menace of human nature.

“But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,

And if you have seen me when I slept,

You have seen me when I was taken and swept

And all but lost.”

Besides, we can find out some other points as well.

  • Similarity and dissimilarity with Wordsworth
  • Frost as a poet of nature in a cavalier fashion
  • Ambivalent attitude to nature and so on.


In termination, it is to be said that Frost is a poet of nature not to serve only the beauty of nature but to uphold the philosophic aspects of nature related to community and human nature.

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SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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