Robert Frost has written the poem “To Earthward” by using eight cross rhymed stanzas. The author has selected his very regular meter, iambic for this poem. Three iambic feet are visible in the first three lines of every verse of the poem however fourth line of the stanza contains only two iambic feet. It is easy to recognize the meter of the poem for those who are familiar with the hymnal representation meter. There is a prolific cross-pollination of sounds and rhymes throughout the poem. The lyric richness used by the author in this poem is exemplary. The author has beautifully used vowel sound in the rhymes ‘touch’ (1) and ‘much’ (3) which again has been repeated into the words ‘enough,(29)’ and ‘rough’(31).
After analyzing the poem “To Earthward” one aspect that comes into the mind of readers is that the author has indirectly trespassed in the territory of feminism. The author seems to be biased towards the women and this is why he has portrayed that the narrator in a poor state and the role of woman has not been made clear by presenting her version of the story in the book. The author has portrayed the narrator’s condition in a poor state and it appears as if there is only a female behind his poor condition or his confused state of mind. When we observe the version of Narrator, it appears that he was in the confused state of mind because he was lost in the memory of a woman and again when he came out of that confused state of mind, again a female was blamed because of living him alone. This is something which violates the basic principles of the feminism and this is against the feminist theory. If a person is lost or loves to be in illusionary state how a woman can be blamed for his condition. This is the sheer biasness and a deliberate effort to malign the reputation of females
After analyzing the poem “To Earthward” it becomes clear that first four stanza of poem belong to past because the narrator was thinking about ‘Then’ however the next four stanza belongs to the present as author thinks and feels of ‘Now’. Then, as usual was about the things that were very pleasant, imaginary, sweet, youthfulness, kisses, scents in the air and the feelings of rose. The narrator seems to be very happy in his past where touch of a lip was more than enough to forget any kind of pain and sorrow. By reading all these things, a reader gets acquainted with the youthfulness and romanticism of ‘Then’. However the second part ‘Now’ belongs to the contrary situation of the past. This part is not only realistic but also it is salty against the sweet things of the past. Now the narrator is not dreamy but a realistic person who comes out of his dreams and realizes the complexities of the world. He does neither feel the scents of the air nor does he find the roses everywhere. He starts feeling the pain and difficulties which he did never feel in his past. This situation suggests the readers that the speaker has emerged as a mature man who understands the reality and also the world. The speaker interacts with the physical world throughout the poem and not with any other person. He talks about love and its importance, discusses small and big things to enjoy.
Robert frost is known for the using similes and imageries in his poems and like his other works; this poem is also full of similes and imageries. The first stanza of the poem says that “And once that seemed too much; I lived on air” (3, 4) is a very good example of the same. The author through narrator of the poem has taken a dark turn in the last stanzas of the poem. The author uses words like ‘dashed with pain’ (18), ‘no joy’ (17), ‘weariness’ (19), and ‘fault’ (19) instead of using words like ‘petals of the rose’ (15). These words reveal their meanings and indicate that the love did not remain as sweet as it was. The things were drastically changed and narrator seems to be affected most with the changes in the whole affair.
After having observed the above said analysis, it is good to opine that “To Earthward” stands among the greatest poems of all times. The poem portrays a rosy picture of life but simultaneously it does not let forget readers about realistic things of the world. The author has tested the lips that were everything to him and which made narrator the happiest but those lips are lost and he has experienced the loss and pain of practical life. Robert frost successfully delivered his hurt before readers and he is incomparable in this sense. The literary works of Robert frost carry a huge experience of life which is very rare thing to find in the poetries of other authors and the basic reason behind this is the rich experience of the author’s life. He travelled a number of places and worked at many different places for livelihood. It gave him enormous experience of life which is usually reflected in his works. The author has portrayed different mental stages of a human being through this poem and he has taken care of the appropriate use of words and emotions.
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Frost, Robert. Robert Frost's poems. San Francisco: Square Ass., 1971.
Furby, Neil. "Poetry Writings Artwork and Stories from Neil Furby." 11 April 2010. blogigo. 5 March 2012
Zubizarreta, John. The Robert Frost encyclopedia. Westport: Greenwood Publishing, 2001.