In the first stanza the speaker tells why he is stopping by the woods. It is "To watch his woods fill up with snow." It is a cold night but apparently not too cold for the speaker to stop for a few minutes to look at a beautiful sight. I...
In the first stanza the speaker tells why he is stopping by the woods. It is "To watch his woods fill up with snow." It is a cold night but apparently not too cold for the speaker to stop for a few minutes to look at a beautiful sight. I think all of us have done this at one time or another, though most of us were not riding in a horse-drawn sleigh. We are on a motor trip and see a beautiful view. There may even be a marked turn-off where motorists can park and enjoy the view. There are plenty of such places, for example, around the Grand Canyon and probably in every national park. Frost was a nature lover. He not only enjoyed looking at beautiful natural scenery, but he seems to have drawn inspiration for some of his poems directly from nature, as was also done by famous English poets like William Wordsworth and John Keats.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" reads like a tribute to the beauty of nature. If we get anything out of the poem at all, we get the feeling of being there on a cold, dark, silent night watching the "downy" flakes slowly descending like white feathers and settling on the trees. It would seem that these woods would have to be evergreens because the speaker says it is "the darkest evening of the year," which would make it December 21st or 22nd. At that time of year all the deciduous trees in the region would be bare or nearly bare of dead leaves, and this would not be a pretty sight. But evergreens with their widespread branches covered with snow are always so aesthetically appealing that they are often depicted on Christmas cards.
If the trees are evergreens, that would explain why the speaker seems apprehensive about being seen by the owner of the woods. That other man sees the woods as a commercial investment. If he found the speaker stopping there and looking at his woods, it wouldn't occur to him that someone was just enjoying the beauty of nature--especially on a cold night with the snow falling. Christmas is just a few days off, isn't it? Most people in New Hampshire probably don't go to some Christmas tree lot to buy their trees for the holidays. They probably go out and chop one down. The owner would undoubtedly think that the speaker--Frost himself presumably--was thinking of taking one of those trees home with him.