Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and dowmy flake. 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. Robert Frost (NB: With Appreciation part below ^_^)
Admirers of Robert Frost have consistently liked this particular poem. Although I'm no admirer of the poet, I like this poem too :-) And that's why I'm especially doing this appreciation part about it (like duh?). The poem is deceptively simple. On the surface it records an unremarkable event, a moment when the poet stops one evening to contemplate the snow and the setting for his contemplation are, in some senses, a thirs 'character'. The poem's theme, or deeper meaning, arises out of the poet's musings. The woods, 'lovely, dark and deep', come to symbolise the attractiveness of passivity, withdrawal from life, perhaps even death. Frost feels drawn to this dark beauty. However, he is also drawn to life. 'But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.'
He chose life and personal involvement that he chooses, rather than withdrawal and death. His moment of choice, or commitment to life, is signalled at the poem's end by the single word 'but' in 'But I have promises to keep'. He is drawnonwards in his journey because of responsibilities. That way ahead is not easy is emphasises by the repetition of the line, 'And miles to go before I sleep.'