When reading a famous poem, it is very crucial to put it into contexts, and the circumstances in which it was written. In that sense, we are able to absorb and comprehend all the literal and implied meanings that were intended.
It is asserted that behind a poem, there is a story. Hence, if we consciously put it out of context, it will not be reported correctly.
For instance, numerous poems created during the time of World
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
War II mainly show humans’ courage, memorization, peaceful hopes and wishes, etc.
Spend little extra time reading the War poems like Soldier’s Farewell, War Baby, The Lonely Hill, etc., and let yourself fall into the war’s mood someday!
Hence, when the poems were written and when the Authors lived are two significant aspects that need to be considered. The life events will definitely influence the colors of the poets’ life. Whether the colors are bright or dark, they are all incorporated into the poems intentionally.
Let’s take the famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost as an illustration!
It was written in June 1922 at his house in Shaftsbury, Vermont. After spending the entire night writing the long poem “Hampshire” completely, Robert Frost went out to view the sunrise. Suddenly, he got the idea for this poem during a snowy day.
Optimistically, the poem tells the story of a man who travels through the snowy woods on “the darkest evening of the year”. The man loves the beauty of the woods covered by snow. They are all “lovely, dark, and deep”!
He also views the frozen lake and is fond of everything surrounding him. Thus, he can’t take at ease to steer himself away from the lovely snowy scene even though he has to come back to the Town to rest.
By contextualizing the poem, we may interpret that Robert Frost would like to take a rest after a long night of work. In other cases, each reader may have his or her own interpretation and perception.
Someone says that Robert Frost wrote this poem to show his painful loss of his father via some images like the dark, the woods, the frozen lake, etc. Besides, the bell on his horse awakes him to the sense of duty and commitment. The last sentence “And smiles to go before I sleep” reminds Robert Frost that he has much to do before he dies.
After all, by putting the poem into its context, we can understand it more profoundly and accurately than ever.