Compare And Contrast Robert Frost And Stevie Smith
Instructor: Cheryl Cardoza
October 12, 2015
What choice will you make?
Poem Comparison: Robert frost and Stevie Smith In the Poems “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Not Waving But Drowning” by Stevie Smith, they both talk about their struggles and situations in life. In the first poem, Frost (the speaker) has come to a fork in the path in the woods. The speaker becomes unsure which path to take and wants to go both ways. He eventually chooses the path that is less worn, but soon starts to re-think his decision. In the second poem “Not Waving But Drowning,” Smith describes a man who begins to complain that he is further out (in the ocean), and rather than waving at the people on shore, he drowns. The …show more content…
In “The Road Not Taken” the speaker (Frost) describes both roads, he states “long I stood… And looked down one as far as I could… To where it bent in the undergrowth” (Frost, 137). This excerpt can be seen as the roads being a metaphor for the future. When the speaker examines both roads but cannot see beyond the undergrowth, this demonstrates the poet’s interpretation that no one knows what the future holds. As the audience reads further the speaker states “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way” (Frost, 137). This example demonstrates how the speaker begins to show regret when he cannot pursue both of the paths. Frost also lets his audience know that the speaker will not be returning to take the other road, by stating “I doubted if I should ever come back” (Frost, 137). This is seen as a metaphor for a choice that can change a person’s life, because once a person decides on one choice, they are unable to go back. These metaphors can also be seen throughout Smith’s “Not Waving But Drowning.” In lines 11 and 12 it states “I was much too far out all my life … And not Waving but drowning” (Smith, 139). These particular lines suggest that there could be a metaphorical take on swimming and drowning. The audience can infer that the speaker (the man) was swimming in a large body of water. Swimming can be seen as an …show more content…
Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Smith’s “Not Waving But Drowning” have a variety of metaphors that strengthens the poem’s overall idea of life choices and the future. Also, many of the symbols throughout each poem is represented through the setting, giving the readers an idea of what is actually happening inside the minds of the speakers. The setting can also lead to the poem’s tone, because there are multiple symbols that also represent the feeling of optimism and death. In the end, each poem depicts the overall message of how life choices and experiences, sooner or later, judges the journey of an individual’s