Robert Frost Quotes: An Analysis of Poetry by Robert Frost

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Robert Frost Quotes

Use these quotes as part of your analysis of poetry by Robert Frost.

Poem: “The Road Not Taken”

Quote: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood (1).

Analysis: A common theme in many of Frost’s poems is the importance of choices and their far reaching consequences. These two roads represent a difficult choice.

Quote: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference (14-16).

Analysis: Many mistakenly refer to the poem as “The Road Less Traveled” on account of these lines. What I’d like to draw your attention to is the dash at the end of line 14. It marks an abrupt change, a change in thought, an Orwellian doublethink. Previously the paths are described as being “worn really about the same” (10). Now, after sighing and lamenting his choice, he makes an abrupt change in thought, a rationalization. Pay attention to dashes.

More Robert Frost Quotes

Use these quotes as part of your analysis of poetry by Robert Frost.

Poem: “Birches”

Quote: “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches” (60).

Analysis: Frost is the master of meiosis (see the “Fire and Ice” analysis from this series). The poem extols the merits of being a swinger of birches, building up to the ultimate assessment that there’s nothing better on Earth to be, and then adding an understatement for further emphasis.

Poem: “Mending Wall”

Quote: “Good fences make good neighbors” (last line).

Analysis: This line is uttered twice by the neighbor who seems to think having a wall is a good idea based on what his father told him. The poem’s speaker, however, disagrees, yet goes along with the exercise. Frost questions conventional thinking.

Quote: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” (1).

Analysis: Frost asserts that walls are innately evil; there’s something about them that prevents brotherhood. The wall represents fear, hatred, bigotry, anything that prevents humans from joining together.

Even More Robert Frost Quotes

Poem: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Quote: “Nothing gold can stay” (8).

Analysis: Frost laments the downfall of…everything, commenting on the cycle of life, which takes something in its perfect, innocent, Edenic form and allows it to deteriorate.

Poem: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Quote: “But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to fo before I sleep.”

Analysis: The speaker realizes his purpose for living and that he has a long toil filled life ahead of him. Sleep in this context may be a symbolic representation of death.

Poem: “Acquainted with the Night”

Quote: “I have been one acquainted with the night”

Analysis: Whether the night in this poem symbolizes death or loneliness depends on your interpretation. Either way, Frost is acquainted with it. It’s more of a nostalgic poem than an I’m so depressed and miserable poem.

This post is part of the series: The Robert Frost Poetry Study Guide

An analysis of Robert Frost’s poetry will enlighten and inspire.

  1. An Analysis of “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost
  2. Analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  3. Analysis of Birches by Robert Frost
  4. Robert Frost Poetry Analysis: Fire and Ice
  5. Robert Frost Quotes: An Analysis