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Referring to A Boy's Will by Frost, what are three or four poems that form a unit that...

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ilovecats2 | Honors

Posted January 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM via web

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Referring to A Boy's Will by Frost, what are three or four poems that form a unit that are connected and, briefly, how are they connected?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 5, 2013 at 11:29 PM (Answer #1)

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There are a number of sequential poems in A Boy's Will that might be considered connected by subject or by theme. The only way to discover which these are is to closely read and analyze each for the subject matter, themes, symbolism, and imagery. Though there are other elements and techniques to analyze, these ought to allow you to see a connection between poems even if it is a subtle one that is not at first apparent.

For example,

  • A Late Walk
  • Stars
  • Storm Fear

might be said to be connected by the theme of adjusting to death and adversity. On the other hand,

  • A Prayer in Spring
  • Flower-gathering
  • Rose Pogonias
  • Asking for Roses

might be said to be connected by various applications of the significance of flowers. In "A Prayer in Spring," white blossoms of "orchard white" draw the picture of the hope of human love abroad in the world as the bees are abroad in the orchard. In "Flower-gathering," the "faded flowers gay" represent the speaker's devotion to his beloved while he has "been long away" (there is room for analysis of ambiguity in this poem because he speaks of both morning/gloaming and a day/long away, but "faded flowers" unravels the seeming ambiguity by confirming he was gone long, mostly likely to war).

In "Rose Pogonias," (rose pogonia: a type of pink orchid) the speaker praises the orchids and prays that they will be spared from the summer grass harvests:

That none should mow the grass there
While so confused with flowers.    

In "Asking for Roses," a young loving couple approaches an abandoned house ("go up to the open door boldly") to ask to pick some roses from the abandoned and neglected garden in order to perform a summer rite of romance: "nothing is gained by not gathering roses."

Each poem, connected by the topic of flowers, has a different import, theme, and subject to discuss as Frost courses through some of the various ways flowers play into the important and various moments of our lives.

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