“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is the most famous poem written by Robert Frost.
This poem suggests a deep underlying idea that we should always keep the mission of our life in mind. No attraction should always be able to hold us back. We should go on till the goal of our life is achieved. The traveller in the poem is tempted by the attractions of a forest. But soon he realizes his mistake and continues his journey.
This poem consists of four quatrains that have the following rhyme scheme: aaba, bbcb, ccdc,dddd. The poem’s central narrative is simple. A traveler stops one snowy evening to admire the snow covered woods by which he passes. He thinks that the owner of the woods, who lives in the village, will not see him stopping to “watch his woods fill up with snow.”
The speaker thinks that his “little horse must think it queer” to stop without a farmhouse nearby on the “darkest evening of the year.” In the third stanza, the speaker expands this thought, suggesting that anxiety over the untoward action causes the horse to shake his harness bells “To ask if there is some mistake.” Then, by way of contrast, the speaker notes that “the only other sound’s the sweep/ Of easy wind and downy flake.”
Something about the woods compels the speaker to enjoy the beautiful snow-covered jungle, and towards the end of the poem, as most critics note, he has the sense that there is more to these woods than meets the eye.
The poet means to tell us that everyone has a mission in life. We must overcome the various temptations that may come in our way. We should try to fulfil our mission with a single-minded devotion.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru showed his concern in these lines. In the latter years of his life, he took to carrying with him four lines of this poem by Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.