What is Robert Frost's attitude in his poem "Desert Places"?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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In "Desert Places," Robert Frost takes a scene from nature and uses it as a springboard for a philosophical idea.

The poem begins with a description of a field filling up with snow at night:


Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The poet proceeds to interpret the scene before him as a symbol of loneliness and emptiness:

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less -
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
WIth no expression, nothing to express.

The poet then moves from the snowy scene on Earth to the great "empty spaces / Between stars"; he says that no-one can scare him with those empty spaces because:

I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Frost seems to be saying that one does not have to travel to outer space on a solo rocket mission to exprerience loneliness.  Rather, loneliness is part of the human condition.  Each person is, by definition,  separated from all other people and thus has his or her "own desert places." 


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