Download You Come Too Study Guide

Subscribe Now

You Come Too Analysis

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The title of Frost’s earliest collection of poems was A Boy’s Will (1913), and his poems are included in school readers and considered appropriate reading for children. When You Come Too was published, Frost was a great-grandfather, yet he was not a writer of children’s verse nor as grandfatherly and benign as he looked.

Although Frost did write many lovely descriptions of nature (“A Hillside Thaw”), some humorous verses (“The Rose Family”), and even a few romantic sonnets (“Never Again Would Birds’ Song Be the Same”), he also wrote of “boughten friendships,” despair, and death. The same man who wrote, in “The Pasture,” “I’m going out to fetch the little calf/ That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young/ It totters when she licks it with her tongue” also wrote, in “Desert Places,” “They cannot scare me with their empty spaces/ Between stars—on stars where no human race is./ I have it in me so much nearer home/ To scare myself with my own desert places.” This reality is represented in You Come Too, which includes some dark and disturbing poems. “Departmental” describes death in the ant world; “Death of the Hired Man,” the last hours of an old farmworker; and “Fire and Ice,” the destruction of the world. “Good Hours” and “Acquainted with the Night” communicate loneliness and alienation.

Many other poems in the collection present to readers ideas that seem to ask—as Cox suggests in the foreword—to be invited in while one gets to know them. In “Birches,” the reader is prompted to contemplate the tension between the pleasures of earthly life and longings for Heaven. In “The Tuft of Flowers,” the reader must puzzle out the meaning of Frost’s concluding couplet: “‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,/ ‘Whether they work together or apart.’ ” In “Two Tramps in Mud Time” is another work idea: “My object in living is to unite/ My avocation and my vocation/ As my two eyes make one in sight.”

A common misconception about Frost is that he was primarily a “nature poet”; he was fond of saying that all but three of his poems had human beings in them. In You Come Too, nature—whether in the woods or on the farm—almost always reveals a general truth or teaches a human lesson. “A Drumlin Woodchuck” suggests that, like the woodchuck, people are vulnerable and need to look to their defenses. In “A Minor Bird,” wishing that the bird would fly away makes the poet realize that “there is something wrong/ In wanting to silence any song.” The forces of nature that tumble the New England stone walls in “Mending Wall” suggest that barriers between people are unnatural and unnecessary.

Frost is often quoted as having said that writing poems without rhyme was like playing tennis without a net, the implication being that he was a traditionalist or formalist who had little use for experimentation or innovation. The poems in You Come Too, however, suggest otherwise. Four of the selections are written in blank verse (regular rhythm but no rhyme). In “The Telephone” and “After Apple-Picking ,” Frost experiments with varying line lengths. The long first line of the latter...

(The entire section is 831 words.)