Show how the poetic “self” in Robert Frost's poems is withdrawn to facilitate the “other” voices to become loud and free.

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One of Robert Frost's most famous poems is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." This poem demonstrates the phenomenon described in the question, in which the self does not dominate the poem, but deliberately makes room for other points of view.

Though the speaker of this poem delivers his observations in the first person, little information is directly from or about the self. The very first line of the poem reads, "Whose woods these are I think I know," placing us in a setting owned by someone else entirely, already drawing attention away from the speaker. The second and third stanzas of the poem essentially describe the scene from the horse's point of view. "He gives his harness bells a shake / To ask if there is some mistake." The majority of the poem is about what other sentient beings could or do think about the fact that the speaker is pausing in the woods on a snowy night.

Finally, when the speaker states that he has "miles to go before I sleep," it is only because he has "promises to keep" to parties unknown. The poem consistently describes the setting and sensations of the moment through others' eyes, bringing together multiple points of view that are not the speaker's. This allows multiple voices to ring through, emphasizing how vast, connected, and yet mysterious is the nature of life. In this one moment, we hear the hesitation of the horse, the questioning of the owner of the woods, the imploring of unknown parties for the speaker to keep their promises. It is a lot of activity brought together in a quiet and beautiful moment. Allowing so many voices to be heard so clearly lends a cosmic, mystical air of reverence to the poem.

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