Who is the speaker in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"? Who does the speaker refer to in the first stanza? Why does the speaker stop on "the darkest evening of the year?" And why does the horse impatiently await the next move of his master?

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The speaker in this poem gives no identifying details about himself, except the fact that he is on a journey with his horse and that he has made "promises" to others and still has "miles to go" before he can stop moving. Evidently, he has made some commitments which cannot be broken. Despite this, however, he has stopped for what he accepts is rather a fanciful reason—simply to watch the woods "fill up with snow."

It seems like the man does not do this often; his horse, he thinks, must think it very odd for them to be stopping without any apparent purpose. The horse thinks the behavior of his master is "queer." It is also cold and snowy, so the horse is probably impatient to continue on its way, because it is used to continual movement when on the trail with its master. The speaker, however, is captivated by how "lovely" the woods are and seems to wish he could linger longer.

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The speaker of the poem is someone who is driving a horse and wagon along a snowy country road. We get the impression that he may be an older man. He stops the horse merely to watch how beautifully the snow is falling on the woods -- which is why he pauses there on the "darkest evening of the year." The person he refers to in the first stanza is the owner of the woods. Since he doesn't live nearby, he won't know that the driver and the horse are appreciating the view of his snow-filled property. The horse may have been slightly confused, not necessarily impatient. Horses that are hitched up to wagons, carriages, or buggies become used to routines and places. This stop was something the horse wasn’t used to. The poem paints a quiet, contemplative scene of a man and a horse appreciating the beauty of a snowy winter night.

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