Robert Frost Questions and Answers

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Show how Robert Frost's ability to inspire a wide range of feelings and metaphors in only a few lines speaks of the potency of his poems.

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Let's look at Frost's short poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay." It is quite potent, to use your word, because the language is so condensed. He says so much with so few words.

We can understand the first line to be figurative because "green" cannot literally be "gold," so we can begin to consider what this line might mean. Gold is something which is very valuable, and so perhaps the speaker is suggesting that the "first green" is the most valuable thing; this is a metaphor. But what is the "first green"? He says that it is the "hardest hue to hold." So, it passes quickly.

"Her early leaf's a flower," the speaker says, but how can a leaf be a flower? This must be figurative too, especially because...

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