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Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


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 downy 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


About the Author:

Robert Frost (1874-1968) was an American poet noted for his realistic descriptions of rural life. Born on 26 March 1874, he spent his first 40 years as an unknown entity. He received four Pulitzer prizes for poetry and was a special guest at President John F. Kennedy‘s inauguration. Frost became a poetic force and the unofficial Poet Laureate of the United States. Some of his famous works are The Road Not Taken, West Running Brook, Mending Wall, After Apple Picking etc.


Glossary

queer (adj.): strange, odd

woods (n): an area of land covered with a thick growth of trees.

harness (n): straps and fittings by which a horse is fastened to a cart or carriage

frozen (adj.): in ice form

sweep (v): to move swiftly and smoothly

downy (adj.): soft and fluffy

flake (n): a small piece of snowflake


Read the lines and answer the questions below:


1. He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


a) Whom does ‘he’ refer to?

Ans: “He” refers to the owner of the forest (woods).


b) Identify the season in these lines.

Ans: Winter season


2. My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near


a) Who is the speaker?

Ans: The speaker is the poet.


b) Why should the horse think it queer?

Ans: The horse thought it queer because there was no farmhouse near.


c) Pick out the rhyming words.

Ans: queer, near


3. He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.


a) Whom does ‘he’ refer to in these lines?

Ans: “He” refers to the horse


b) Why does ‘he’ give his harness bells a shake?

Ans: He gives his harness bells a shake to ask the master (poet) if there is some mistake.


c) How does the horse communicate with the poet?

Ans: The horse communicates with the sound of the harness bells.


4. The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep


a) How are the woods?

Ans: The woods are lovely, dark and deep.


b) Whom does ‘I’ refer to?

Ans: “I” refers to the poet.


c) What are the promises the speaker is talking about?

Ans: The poet is talking about the commitments in his life.


5. And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


a) Why the poet has used the same line twice?

Ans: The poet wants to insist that, his duties in life is more important than enjoying the beauty of the woods.


b) Explain: miles to go before I sleep

Ans: The poet reminds himself of his duties he has to finish before his sleep, that is before his end life.


Complete the summary of the poem by filling in the blanks.


After a long travel the poet entered a___________. He wondered to whom the wood _______! He realized that the owner of the wood lived in a ________. He thought that the owner would not be able to ___________him stopping in his woods to watch _____________ fill the woods. The poet felt that the horse would think it very _________ to stop near the woods as he had never _____. He was actually standing between the woods and _______. The time was ________. The horse indicated that the poet has made a ________ by shaking its head. The poet felt that the woods are lovely, _______ and ______. He suddenly realized that he had worldly ______which would not allow him to _______ in the woods for a long time.


Answer:

After a long travel the poet entered a forest. He wondered to whom the wood belongs to! He realized that the owner of the wood lived in a nearby village. He thought that the owner would not be able to see him stopping in his woods to watch how the snow would fill the woods. The poet felt that the horse would think it very strange to stop near the woods as he had never done like that before. He was actually standing between the woods and lake. The time was evening. The horse indicated that the poet has made a mistake by shaking its head. The poet felt that the woods are lovely, dark and deep. He suddenly realized that he had worldly duties which would not allow him to stop in the woods for a long time.


Identify the rhyme scheme used in each stanza. One example has been done for you.


Stanza 1 - Rhyme Scheme - a a b a

Stanza 2 - Rhyme Scheme - a a b a

Stanza 3 - Rhyme Scheme - a a b a

Stanza 4 - Rhyme Scheme - a a a a


Complete the table by identifying lines, against the poetic devices from the poem. One example is done for you.


Alliteration:

watch his woods

his house is

see me stopping

my little horse must

he gives his harness

sound’s the sweep

dark and deep


Personification:

My little horse must think it queer

To ask if there is some mistake


Repetition:

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep


Imagery:

To watch his woods fill up with snow

Between the woods and frozen lake

The woods are lovely dark and deep

He gives his harness bells a shake

 

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