Study Questions on Poems by Robert Frost

Dr. Tina L. Hanlon

Associate Professor of English
Ferrum College


  1. What are the views of ordinary people in Frost's poems?  How does he capture the rhythms of ordinary speech through traditional verse forms?

  2. What attitudes toward the passage of time are expressed in Frost's poems?

  3. What American ideals are examined in the poems of Frost?

  4. What are the relationships between humanity and nature explored in Frost's poems?

  5. Examine carefully the ways in which many of Frost's poems move from a concrete image or experience to an exploration of transcendent meanings.

  6. What features of the scene are unusual in "Design"?  What do the spider, moth, and flower symbolize?  What is the poet questioning at the end of the poem?

  7. Why does the speaker in "Fire and Ice" prefer for the world to end in fire?  What kind of tone do you hear in the language, rhythm, and rhyme of this poem?

  8. How many "gold" things are suggested in "Nothing Gold Can Stay"?   How does grief in Eden relate to the passing of seasons?

  9. Why does the choice of roads in "The Road Not Taken" make so much difference to the speaker years later?  What might the two roads represent? 

  10. What different attitudes toward death and grieving cause the conflict between the husband and wife in "Home Burial"?

  11. What types of sleep and dreams are suggested in "After Apple-Picking"?  What does apple-picking symbolize?

  12. Why does the speaker in "Birches" prefer to see branches bent by boys rather than by ice?  Compare the ice images in this poem and other poems.

  13. In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," what might the woods and snow and dark symbolize?

  14. Compare "Acquainted with the Night" with "The Road Not Taken" or T. S. Eliot's "Rhapsody on a Windy Night."

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