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“The Telephone” by Robert Frost

Robert Frost is one of the most respected poets. He appears in his poems in different guises, but whatever character he assumes, he is very honest and provides the readers with delight and wisdom. The poem, “The Telephone” under discussion here, is a love poem, though it is open to various interpretations according to the reader’s attitude. A brief critical analysis of the poem to see the relationship between the title and the theme is the focus of this paper.

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The title of the poem is very confusing. It compels the reader to think of his telephone, as he tries to understand its theme. However, the poet uses the word telephone in the poem only to show that two lovers are speaking to each other from a distance. The line, “When leaning with my head against a flower” (Frost), simply shows that the shape of the flower reminds him of the instrument, telephone. The poem is, in fact, about a telepathic conversation between two lovers. The lover may be communicating to the soul of his departed lover. At the same time, the line, “You spoke from that flower on the window sill” (Frost), suggests that his beloved is speaking by standing near a flower. She asks: “Do you remember what it was you said?’” (Frost) and he replies that he heard her calling him by his name and asking him to “come”. To this, she adds, “’I may have thought as much, but not aloud” (Frost), taking the conversation to a spiritual level.

Though at the surface level, the poem is only a conversation between two lovers from a distance, it has some symbolic meanings. The words, “‘Having found the flower and driven a bee away” (Frost), complicate the poem. The flower, the bee, and the act of driving it away have sexual overtones. The flower can also be seen as a symbol of sex. The subject of love is originally treated in the poem. Nowhere in literature can one find a flower used to stand for a telephone instrument. Therefore, the poet has some definite ideas in his mind. However, it is better to think that the lover during his walk comes across a flower with the shape of a telephone and it led him to the thought of talking to his beloved.


Frost, Robert. “The Telephone”. Web.

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"“The Telephone” by Robert Frost." StudyCorgi, 27 Oct. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "“The Telephone” by Robert Frost." October 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "“The Telephone” by Robert Frost." October 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "“The Telephone” by Robert Frost." October 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '“The Telephone” by Robert Frost'. 27 October.

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