illustration of a snowy forest with a cabin in the distance

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

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What is the climate in the first stanza of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

Quick answer:

The first stanza of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" portrays a peaceful, solitary climate. The speaker is alone in the woods, watching them fill up with snow. This image suggests tranquility and solitude, as the owner of the woods, who lives in the village, is not present to witness this serene scene. The snow piling up around the trees further enhances the solitude and tranquil mood.

Expert Answers

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The first stanza of the poem conveys the solitude of the speaker in these woods as well as the tranquil scene that has caused him to pause and enjoy.  He says,

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow. (lines 1-4)
So, he claims that he is familiar with the owner of these woods, but the owner's home is actually in the village and not in the woods themselves.  In other words, the owner lives a ways off, and the implication is that he is not even nearby to enjoy the beauty to which he has such personal and unlimited access.  Moreover, the absence of the owner of this land indicates that the speaker is alone here.
Further, the visual imagery conveyed by the idea of watching "his woods fill up with snow" is arresting.  It is as though the woods are a container that can be "filled up" with something; we can imagine the tall, thin trees growing deeper and deeper in the snow as it piles up around them.  Such a line emphasizes, again, the solitariness of the scene and impacts the mood of the poem as well, and we can know that it is the tranquility of this silent, darkened scene that has so arrested the speaker.

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