Do you think the poet should have stopped near the woods and enjoyed the beauty of nature in the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"? Give a reasoned reply. 

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Robert Frost was a great admirer of Henry David Thoreau, author of the classic Walden. Frost evidently made an early decision to lead a life of rustic simplicity so that he could devote all his time and thought to writing poetry, which was obviously his calling. This may have forced him to become a "nature poet" whether that was his original inclination or not. He derived inspirations from nature, and like all poets he never could know when he might receive an inspiration. But he must have learned that such inspirations were of the utmost importance to him in his chosen career. And the sight of the woods filling up with snow on a snowy evening was a great deal more important than a pretty picture that would look good on a Christmas card. It was an inspiration for a now-famous poem. He had to sit there while the inspiration sank in--although he didn't have to compose the poem itself before he started for home. No doubt the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" was written later on in the comfort of a lighted room with a warm fireplace. But Frost not only "should" have stopped to look at that scene; it was a necessity. What if he hadn't stopped and the poem didn't exist?

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Because this is a "what do you think" question, there is not a 100% correct answer.  Different readers will have different opinions.  You can safely state your opinion, but do be sure to clearly explain why you think what you think.  

I'd like to play the Devil's advocate for my answer.  Most people would probably answer "yes, it's fine that the man stopped by the woods because nature is beautiful, and he's not hurting anybody;" however, I would like to provide an answer that goes the other direction.    

No, I do not think that the man should have stopped by the woods to enjoy nature.  The poem states that it is a dark and cold night.  

The darkest evening of the year.

Snow is beginning to fall too. Enough snow to begin filling the woods.

To watch his woods fill up with snow. 

For the speaker's safety and the safety of his horse, he should not be out wasting time.  He needs to minimize his exposure to the elements and get to shelter sooner rather than later.  This is especially true since the end of the poem says that he has many more miles to go before his destination.  I read "To Build a Fire."  That guy died from exposure to the cold.  I also read "The Outcasts of Poker Flat.  Most of those characters froze to death in a winter storm because they didn't hurry to their destination.  The man in the poem is perfectly welcome to admire the beauty of nature, but he should do so through a window on the inside of a nice, warm house. Additionally, the poem ends with the speaker admitting that he has promises to keep. He needs to stop procrastinating, get to his destination, and honor his commitments.   

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