illustration of a snowy forest with a cabin in the distance

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

Start Free Trial

What dilemma does the poet face upon reaching the woods in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” the wagon or carriage driver is in the midst of conducting some business, or of running an important errand. But he stops the horse at the woods, just so he can take in and watch the beauty of the snowflakes falling on the trees. His dilemma is that he doesn’t have a lot of time to spend—or waste, depending on how you look at it—to pause here for very long. He can’t turn his full attention to nature and to the weather, to merely enjoy the moment. He has other commitments, other duties, and other responsibilities to attend to. He makes enough time to take care of himself here, spiritually. But then he must continue on, to his additional “promises” and those “miles to go.” His story is an example of the real-life challenge of balancing personal time and paying time, or work.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial