"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom." Is this true of "The Pathetic Fallacy"?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Robert Frost is known for saying "A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom." That being said, is this an example of pathetic fallacy?

Pathetic fallacy is when an author gives an object human thoughts and feelings. This is, more commonly known as, personification. Where the two differ is that the giving of human traits is not always the recognition that an object has the traits, but that the author treats the object as if it has the traits.

That being said, Frost's treatment of inanimate objects serves to allow a reader to look at the object differently than they have in the past.

For example, in the poem "The Tuft of Flowers," Frost gives the reader another way to look at nature.

Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,
That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,
And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

Here, Frost wants the reader to listen to nature and what it has to say. Without giving nature these human characteristics, "made me hear," one would know to listen the next time walking among the grass and flowers.