What is familiar in Robert Frost's poems?
Because Frost is drawing sketches of the New England landscape as well as writing poems with large abstract ideas imbedded in the symbolism and metaphors, the reader recognizes the common everyday objects and scenery in Frost's own life. While some of Frost's world is gone now (horse-and-carriage transportation, for instance), much of it is timeless -- stone walls, walking paths, woods, etc. The reader can strongly visual the setting of Frost's images. But most familiar are universal "points of view" or "wisdoms" disseminated in his poems. Every discipline, for example, has its moments of decision, at which time the entire enterprise takes a direction that "makes all the difference." Consider, too, the observation that nature itself has a "personification" that allows it to "like" or "not like" man's constructions. The relatively simple vocabulary also gives a familiar tone to the constructions: In the poem "I have been one acquainted with the night," the language allows us to share in the experience: "I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain. / I have outwalked the furthest city light." Or look at this stanza:
A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.
This universal idea is familiar to all generations -- the beauty of existence itself, when confronted with the night sky.