Robert Frost Questions and Answers

Robert Frost book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is a detailed explanation of Robert Frost's "The Black Cottage"?

Expert Answers info

Eleanore Trupkiewicz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write26 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

"The Black Cottage" by Robert Frost appears upon a first read to be one of his denser and more difficult poems to understand. However, the overarching theme is one easily understood: change, or rather, transience. Through the words of the minister as he speaks to the poet in his company, describing the little black cottage and the woman who lived there for so long, the poem discourses upon the inevitable passage of time and what effect this has upon life, whether as an individual, a member of society at large, or a member of an entire nation.

From the very first line, Frost neatly introduces his subject (the passing of time) via allusion to it, for he (the poet) and the minister (his companion) "chanced in passing by that afternoon" (line 1). This is exactly the sort of thing that time itself is known to do: pass by chance, normally without our conscious awareness until or unless something (a moment of intimacy, or beauty, or violence, or tragedy , for example) makes us aware again that we...

(The entire section contains 853 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now