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Theme: The poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay", expresses an important idea in the story....

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asilly | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2009 at 9:44 AM via web

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Theme: The poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay", expresses an important idea in the story. Review the poem and be able to explain its meaning.

what does the poem's meaning

How it applies to ponyboy

How it applies to Johnny

7 Answers | Add Yours

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matsuimoto | Salutatorian

Posted January 6, 2009 at 10:30 AM (Answer #1)

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it means that when all things start out as gold since it is natures first hue for example a child, everyone is a child at some point and that “nothing gold can stay” is saying that no one is a child forever and that you should cherish your childhood fully and make the most out of it. As the poem mentions “dawn goes down to day meaning” that nothing is eternal. Also the part “her early leafs a flower but only so and hour then leaf subsides to leaf so Eden sank to grief”.  This means that flowers only bloom their fullest for only a short while then its bloom slowly starts to subside to nothing. Meaning that all things wonderful can’t stay Which is why Eden is sad. The part “Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold”
means that the best thing in life represented by gold can’t last forever represented by the second line.

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ijoinedthistoseethefullanswer | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM (Answer #4)

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It simply means that good things eventually fade away. Enjoy the things when you are young because they wont be there forever. ANd that when things get good, it doesn't last a lifetime, so cherish the moment

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roosterboy18 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM (Answer #5)

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Gold can refer to preciousness, innocence, valuable, etc. Later on when quoted, "Her early leafs a flower but only so an hour" means that it won't stay innocent or precious forever. The next line means that the thing that is "gold" will eventually turn out and become what the others like it have become. Finally, the last line ties it together saying that nothing precious, valuable, innocent will stay like it currently is forever.

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camila17 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted May 29, 2012 at 7:12 PM (Answer #6)

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the meaning of this poem is that valuable things in life dont stay with you forever. so you should appreciate what you have. 

ex- pony lost his parents which were valuavle like gold.

ex- soda lost his horse which is like gold.... valuable


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hilarynguyen36 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:56 AM (Answer #7)

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Happiness will soon go away. Enjoy what you have now or you will regret it.

Pony, Soda, and Darry lost their parents

Soda lost his pony "Mickey Mouse"

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ik9744 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted June 20, 2014 at 12:13 AM (Answer #11)

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The poem means that you should stay good, pure, and young. There could be multiply meaning though. At first I thought it meant nothing good can stay.

It applies to Ponyboy since Johnny thinks that he is pure because he loves sunsets. 

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted June 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM (Answer #8)

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Robert Frost's famous poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay:"

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold


Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.


Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,


So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

explores the idea that happiness, perfection, bliss (all symbolized by gold) cannot and will not endure. The apparent paradox of line 1 is based on the fact that when buds appear in the spring, their first color is gold rather than green. 

The speaker also looks at the falling away from gold in nature, human history, and time. The leaf, humanity, and the day all begin in gold (bud, Eden, dawn) and decay quickly; perfection in any form lasts only an hour.

You can see in many characters the decay of their personal qualities or the fact that whatever qualities they do have will not last and will come to an end.

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