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DARBAR “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

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NIRMALSINH DARBAR

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AISLINN MCDOUGALL

ENGL 100-992

28 JANUARY 2018

      A Close Reading of “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
by Robert Frost

“Nothing
Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost is a poem about changes in nature and human
life. With the help of this poem, Frost explores various aspects of changing
nature by examining that even the most beautiful thing of the world also
changes with time. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” covers everything from a
small leaf, to the cycle of the sun, to the Garden of Eden, in just eight lines
ultimately demonstrating that change is only permanent in this world.

The
poem is penned in iambic trimeter form by the poet. However the beginning and
the ending of poem is having a trochee form which is antonym of iambic form
which suggests the contrast of nature and nothing. The rhyme scheme of the poem
is AABBCCDD. The first line “Nature’s first green is gold,” (Line 1) suggests the setting of
the poem that we are in laps of nature. Also this line reminds of spring season
as nature’s first green is spring. “Her hardest hue to hold.” (Line 2) have alliteration of the letter ‘H’. Also the couplet ends
here with the same rhyme. The nature is also personified as the Frost is
describing hardest time of nature as if nature is a human being having easy and
hard times. The rhyme scheme changes from beginning of a new couplet in third
line when Frost writes “Her early leaf’s a flower;” and start to be a typical poet by
using metaphor in the line. Actually in real world the leaves are given space
by blooms so that they can get sunlight to blossom. On moving further Frost completes
the second couplet and also the structure he built up in the previous line by
saying “But only so an hour.” (Line 4).

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 Actually by saying this he want
to describe that the golden state of leaf remains only for a short period after
which they becomes green. According to me it also suggests that childhood also
passes very fast and person becomes mature and starts taking responsibilities
on own. The beginning of next to couplet describes the falling of leaf to make
way for the next leaf. This figurative language in fifth line of the poem according
to my interpretation of poem suggests that spring flowers are more beautiful
than the leaves in the summer where they appear to be gold as there is huge
amount of sun rays falling on them. In the next line poet uses allusion by saying
“So Eden sank to grief,” (Line 6) which is  a biblical reference of the story of Adam and
Eve and the act of Eve of eating forbidden fruit and the fall of them and the
descendants. This demonstrates tragic that even the first humans were expelled
from the Garden of Eden similarly the leaves which were golden will eventually
turn down into green leaves. In the beginning of last couplet, Frost demonstrates
the daily cycle of sun from dawn to a typical day and then dusk. Thus in the
very last line Frost connects to the title “Nothing
gold can stay.”
(Line 8). After reading the last couplet another interpretation comes into mind
which is that Frost maybe talking about the summer days. The gold in the beginning
might be referring to the sunlight of dawn and in the last second line dawn
moves into a day.

” Nothing Gold Can Stay” by
Robert Frost thus demonstrates that a golden leaf will turn into mere green
leaves by giving all the imagery in the beginning which further indicates that
nothing will remain forever and the only thing which is  permanent in this world is change.  
  

 

 

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Work
Cited

FROST, ROBERT. “Nothing
Gold Can Stay.” The New Wascana
Anthology: Poetry, Short Fiction, and Critical Prose. Eds. Medrie Purdham
and Michael Trussler. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2014. (pp. 96)

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