Presentation on theme: "Robert Frost- Nothing Gold Can Stay. Nature's first green is gold Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides."— Presentation transcript:
Robert Frost- Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature's first green is gold Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost Born on March 26, He spent the first 12 years of his life in San Francisco.
His life was filled with tragedy: his father died in 1885 when Robert was just 11 his mother died of cancer in 1900 In 1920, Frost had to commit his younger sister to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later His wife died in 1938 His son committed suicide in 1940 at the age of 38 two of his 6 children died before the age of 8 only 2 of his children outlived him
It has been said that "Frost's best work explores fundamental questions of existence, depicting with chilling starkness the loneliness of the individual in an indifferent universe." He wrote about how man is alone and frail when compared to the vastness of the universe and how humans are limited.
This idea of mankinds isolation, frailty and limitations is clearly expressed in Nothing Gold can Stay. It is not surprising that a writer who has been so personally impacted by death chooses to explore the fragility, and brevity, of life in his writing.
Rhyme- the poem is written in paired lines. Each pair of lines contains an idea that, when isolated, contributes to the overall theme of the poem that beauty cannot last. The use of rhyme in this way subtly isolates each of the ideas into stages and contributes to the theme that life has stages. Rhythm- the beat created by having 6-7 syllables per line adds a consistent pace to the piece and links the pairs of lines together. The isolated ideas presented in each rhyming pair are therefore linked together by using this rhythm. Allusion- by referring to Eden the reader is given the association of the idea of paradise lost. Frost, in one short line, reminds us of the tale of a land filled with perfection, and beauty, until sin was discovered, and then the beauty was lost. Through the use of allusion, Frost reinforces the idea that this loss of beauty is eternal. Devices which impact the piece:
Metaphor- the first line of Natures first green is gold compares the beginning of life (when someone/something is green it is new) with something that is of great value and beauty. This sets up the theme of the poem which is that life starts off full of beauty, but that beauty will not last. The line So dawn goes down to day is also a metaphor comparing the passing of time during a day with the passing of a lifetime. This reinforces the idea that time stops for no one and we are all mortal. Alliteration- the 2 nd line contains repetition of the soft h sound. This is a pleasing, soft sound that Frost uses to soften up the reader to the idea of lost beauty. He suggests in the line that while beauty is hard to hold, it just might last…there is a tiny glimmer of hope here and the soft h sound gently presents this hope. In contrast, the 7 th line contains a repetition of the hard D sound which hammers home the harsh reality that we are all destined to lose our beauty/we are mortal. The harsh sound of the D pounds home this point. Devices which impact the piece:
How the poem speaks to me When I was first exposed to this poem, I saw it as a depressing and bleak look at mans mortality. I liked it though. It spoke to me because WE ARE mortal. WE DO lose our beauty (and I see the beauty presented in this poem as our physical beauty, our overall strength and health, as well as our innocence). I see this loss of beauty in myself as I age and cannot do the same things I could when I was young. I see this loss of beauty every time I look in the mirror and find another gray hair or wrinkle. I see this most vividly in my sister whose life has been stolen by MS.
While the poem can be said to be dreary, I have over the years come to see this poem in a positive light. I see it as a reminder that I need to appreciate life. I need to embrace each day because it wont last. The birth of my children (who are still gold and have not been tainted by age, or experiences that have stolen their innocence) changed my perspective on what is important in life. Though I still enjoy a lazy day doing nothing, I see the value of each day in a new way. I need to live life and enjoy the moments, because dawn goes down to day and nothing gold can stay.
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