Poetry has always been my favorite form of literature due to its fascinating ability to reflect extensive ideas within several lines. One of my favorite poets is Robert Frost, whose works are considered some of the best ever written. My love for this poet was born in middle school when we were given the task to analyze his “Fire and Ice.” After that, I continued getting myself acquainted with Frost’s works, and each of them impressed me and inspired me to reflect upon significant ideas.
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“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
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Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference (Frost, n.d.).
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The poem was written by Robert Frost, a famous American poet uncovering important social topics in his works. Frost was highly esteemed by his contemporaries, both readers and critics (Monteiro, 2015). The poem “The Road Not Taken” was written approximately in 1915 in England, where he lived for several years. Even though over a century has passed since it was created, the verse is still highly relevant. The narrator has a difficult choice to make: whether to take the road which many people took before him or to try the one not so widely investigated. The choice made by the author was in favor of the road less traveled by. I think that the essence of this poem is that one should not be afraid of the unknown. Instead, people should try new things because exciting and new things may await them there.
My Art Piece
The Path Not Taken
She stood there, in front of the window
‘Twas hiding the darkness outside
And, neither a bride nor a widow,
She knew not in which to confide
So close were the pain and the fear
So bitter was grief in her soul
She looked at the handle so near
Deciding and choosing her role
Aghast at her own reflection,
She sat on a sofa and prayed
She still had a chance for affection,
So rather than leaving, she stayed.
My poem is about a young girl whose fiancé has just left her. Utterly sad and disappointed, the girl is considering committing suicide. However, upon some consideration, she decides to keep living, thus, taking the “path less traveled” by those who hesitate between killing themselves and starting a new life after a massive depression. I wanted to show that making a seemingly easier choice is not the wisest decision.
The thematic connection between the two pieces is in the choice each of the heroes has. In Frost’s poem, the narrator was to decide whether to take the road that many people had already discovered or to choose another one and discover it by himself. In my poem, the girl opts for staying alive and not “taking” the road of killing herself and getting rid of her problems. The verse and meter in the two poems are different, but in general, the medium is the same: rhymed lines that evoke the audience’s imagination and inspires them to reflect on the issue discussed.
Frost, R. (n.d.). The road not taken. Web.
Monteiro, G. (2015). Robert Frost: The wisest man. The Robert Frost Review, 25, 8-18.
Art Creation: Poetry
I cannot say decisively that I love poetry more than prose since there are both fantastic poems and exciting novels and short stories that have made a profound effect on my development. Still, there is something unique about poetic lines: they can reflect a lengthy idea within only a few words. Poetry is more expressive and impressive than prose, as well as more romantic and musical.
“A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait (Longfellow, n.d.).
Longfellow, a famous American educator and poet, wrote “A Psalm of Life” in the USA in the 1830s. Longfellow’s works were praised for their positive effect on people’s minds. The poet’s works were considered to be virtuous, humble, and international (Blake, 2015). In 1884, Longfellow’s bust was unveiled in the Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey (Blake, 2015). He became the first foreign author honored in the Abbey. Longfellow’s popularity both in the USA and abroad is explained by the simple yet sophisticated ideas and brisk yet comprehensive lines. “A Psalm of Life” is a rather inspiring piece since it invokes people’s optimism and teaches them not to let any troubles interfere with their happiness. The poet reminds the audience that the purpose of life is not death but the feelings of satisfaction and joy.
My Art Piece
An Ode to Life
May the drops of rain in summer
Feel your heart with joyful keys
So instead of thinking “a bummer,”
You will see how great life is.
Please, remember what a present
Each new morning is for you.
Do not make the assets lessened;
View each moment as a cue.
Hints are everywhere, darling:
You can sulk, or you can smile.
Watch the swallow, watch the starling,
Watch the wildlife for a while.
You will see that every trouble
Can eventually be fixed solved
Grief will vanish, joy will double
When the sorrow’s disinvolved.
My poem is concerned with the themes of happiness and the need to avoid sadness by all means. Something beautiful and positive can be found almost in any situation. I am convinced that people frequently forget how blessed they are and feel miserable in situations when they should feel appreciative. Hence, the poem reflects my general opinion on life, which is that everyone should be grateful for what they have.
Both poems have the same ABAB structure and a similar meter. Such a medium allows poets to make ideas short and catchy. The main connection between the two pieces is in their optimistic nature and a positive disposition toward life. The themes of the poems are concerned with the need to feel grateful and happy rather than spoil one’s days with gloomy and pessimistic thoughts.
Blake, D. H. (2015). Among the English worthies: Longfellow and the campaign for Poets’ Corner. Critical Survey, 27(3). Web.
Longfellow, H. W. (n.d.). A psalm of life. Web.