Robert Frost

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What symbolism is used in the poem, "Desert Places," by Robert Frost?    

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Robert Frost builds the power in the poem by using the primary symbol of snow and its related color, white, and then employing the clear contrast of night falling, which is echoed at the end with the empty (black) spaces between the stars. The metaphor of the desert emerges only at the very end, after the poet has built up the lonely impression at the poem's center. We are led into feeling the speaker's loneliness and fear- the fear he denies- through numerous sensory images. They are primarily but not exclusively visual, as he uses touch.

The change from motion to stillness shows the change from observation to contemplation. He evokes the sense of touch in a neutral way: the poet changes "smooth" into "smothered" for a negative sensation.

The immediate surroundings are shown to look empty and almost lifeless. There are weeds and stubble, while fuller life- the woods and animals- are at a distance.

The emptiness that grows with the snow cover represents the speaker's loneliness. Yet it seems...

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