Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What Happens in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening?

One evening, the speaker stops to watch the snow falling through the trees. His horse seems anxious to keep going, but the speaker stays a while longer, studying the beautiful woods.

  • The speaker stops his horse outside a wood that he thinks belong to a local man.
  • Hearing his horse's bells shake, the speaker imagines that the animal wants to keep going.
  • He hesitates, drawn by both the promises he must keep and the enchanting lure of the wintry woods.

Download Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Summary

Introduction

"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" was written by American poet Robert Frost in 1922. The poem describes a tranquil forest scene from the perspective of the narrator, who is riding through the woods with his horse. It is written in iambic tetrameter.

Plot Summary

In this poem, the speaker is driving some kind of horse-drawn vehicle—perhaps a carriage or maybe even a sleigh—through the woods. He believes that he knows to whom this forested land belongs, but that man lives in the village. The speaker knows, therefore, that the owner will not even know that the speaker has stopped to watch the snow fall here.

Perhaps the driver delivers some kind of goods, as he claims that his horse probably thinks it is strange for them to stop out in the middle of nowhere rather than at a house, especially because it is so dark and cold; it is, in fact, the darkest night of the year, and from this the reader can ascertain that it is the night of the winter solstice in late December. The horse shakes its harness, jingling its bells, as if to ask if the driver has made some kind of mistake in...

(The entire section is 364 words.)