Where has the poet stopped? Why does his horse think it queer?

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Robert Frost wrote this poem, along with many other of his most famous compositions, at his house in southern Vermont. The house sat on seven acres of wooded land, and Frost himself apparently spent many hours in the woods in this area. It seems entirely possible, then, that narrator of this poem is, in fact, describing woods very similar to those near Frost's home at the time of his writing. They are beautiful and tranquil, quiet and dark, and the narrator obviously enjoys watching the snow fall in them, in the same way Frost would have enjoyed the areas surrounding his home. The narrator's horse shakes his bells "To ask if there is some mistake" because this narrator does not, evidently, stop like this very often. He has stopped "without a farmhouse near," which must be uncommon for the pair, and so the narrator assumes that his "little horse must think it queer."

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The narrator of the poem has stopped in the woods to watch them "fill up with snow" (line 4), the woods of someone who lives the village, a moment of quiet contemplation and beauty, I would say.  The horse is puzzled because horses are creatures of habit, and this horse is likely to not be accustomed to stopping in the middle of nowhere. The narrator says the horse thinks it queer "To stop without a farmhouse near" (line 6), suggesting that the horse is accustomed to a route in which stops are made where there are houses, not in the middle of the woods. The horse probably expects a stop to include water and hay and perhaps being put in the barn for the night. The horse has a moment of impatience, shaking his harness bells, "To ask if there is some mistake" (line 10).  This seems to bring the narrator out of his moment of absorption, reminding him he must move on, since he has "promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep" (lines 14-15).    

 
 
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