What does the metaphor in Johnny's letter mean when he asks Pony to stay gold?

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What Johnny is saying to Pony is that he does not want him to change.  He does not want Pony to become hardened and bitter.  He thinks that Pony has the potential to become something and he does not want him to end up like, for example, Dallas Winston.

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What Johnny is saying to Pony is that he does not want him to change.  He does not want Pony to become hardened and bitter.  He thinks that Pony has the potential to become something and he does not want him to end up like, for example, Dallas Winston.

In the poem, Frost says that things that are beautiful (like gold) cannot stay that way.  He says that the first leaves that come out are the most beautiful, but they too cannot stay that way.  Johnny is trying to encourage Pony to resist that trend and to stay beautiful (inwardly) and good.

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