What do the wood and village symbolize in the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?
The poem 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' by Robert Frost suggests many ideas and themes for example: possibilities that are out of reach, taboos, secrets, silence, darkness, ignorance and mystery. Let us also consider the sheer beauty and artistic prowess of the poem with its strong use of imagery and metaphor, painting a picture for all to gaze on and wonder at. The scene is so beautiful that even the poet's horse wonders why he has stopped for so long:
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
and the last two sentences of that stanza convey the forbidden nature of the woods (out of bounds areas in one's life, or experiences a person is not yet ready for) through the creation of silence effects in the poem. However, the poet is wistful at the lost opportunity :
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
for he knows he has other commitments and we guess that he is an honourable man. The idea of promises also ties in with the idea of secrets and taboos, but Frost makes no mention of any plan to revisit the woods or ride through the trees, just ending with the last two sleepily hypnotic lines about ending the day without ever visiting the secret places.