What inspired Robert Frost to write "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

The inspiration behind Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" can be found in the poet's own disappointments around Christmastime years before he composed the poem. The poem is inspired by Frost's grief over not being able to provide his family with Christmas gifts.

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According to N. Arthur Bleau, Frost provided the context of his inspiration for "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" at a public reading in 1947.

When asked to identify his own favorite poem out of all those he had written, Frost eventually decided on "Stopping by Woods...

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According to N. Arthur Bleau, Frost provided the context of his inspiration for "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" at a public reading in 1947.

When asked to identify his own favorite poem out of all those he had written, Frost eventually decided on "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The poem is set just before Christmas, and Frost had endured a personal disappointment just before Christmas years before, and that experience supposedly provided the inspiration for the poem.

Frost and his family lived on a farm, and there was not much extra money for Christmas gifts that year. Frost gathered up as many of the farm's goods as he possibly could and travelled to town, hoping to trade them for some gifts for his family's Christmas.

In town, he realized that the market for his goods was poor. Everyone was struggling financially, and he wasn't able to trade his goods. He loaded up his wagon and began the journey back home.

Filled with an emotional burden about disappointing his family at Christmastime, he began to dread his return to the farm. As he got closer, his heart grew heavier. Frost didn't want to face his family.

Frost and his horse came around a bend in the path, and he finally gave in to his feelings of disappointment. The horse stopped to wait on him, and when he was finished, the horse shook its head, jingling the bells on its harness. Frost realized that although Christmas would not be filled with material gifts, he and his family would still share an abundance of love. The horse, seemingly realizing that Frost was now ready to proceed, began to move toward the house again.

Although "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" was composed later, Frost acknowledged that this experience shaped the poem he would eventually identify as his favorite.

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