Robert Frost Nothing Gold Can Stay Analysis

Robert Lee Frost wrote many wonderful poems and Nothing Gold Can Stay is one of his prominent poems an analysis of which reflects that the poet discusses complex human problems. However, it does not mean that he uses far-fetched metaphors or ambiguous similes to explain his topics; instead, he uses beautiful simple imagery for this purpose. His pastoral life experiences help him to illustrate images from rural life. He discusses some important issues with his readers but none of them is apparent. He uses the technique of symbolism to make aware his readers of some modern issues.

Robert Frost was an American poet; therefore, he is not different from his rivals. He too discusses the human psyche in his poems. It is an amazing fact that Frost’s literary work was published in England and then he gained fame in his own country America.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is a short poem with only three to four words in each line but the meaning of each word is rich so far as symbolic meanings of the poem are concerned. The poem is written in rhyming couplets, with a simple A-B-A-B rhyme scheme. The language is simple but the message is significant. The poet presents his experience with a sense of sadness. The poem was first published in the year 1923.

Robert Frost Poem Nothing Gold Can Stay Analysis

Summarily, the poet wants to explain the philosophy of life but he focuses mainly on the importance of time. He wants his readers to think not about the future but about the present. The time does not remain the same for everyone. Every movement and each incident fade with the passage of time. Nothing is everlasting yet the important aspect of it is that it is beautiful. It is a significant characteristic of the time that it passes; however, it is not its drawback but its beautiful attribute. Many people do not consider it (the passage of time/mortality) the most satisfying thing in life but it certainly is. Robert Frost creates a symbolic analysis of this fact while illustrating real-life examples from everyday life and nature in one of his best poems Nothing Gold Can Stay. 

The Theme of Death

There are lots of meanings that may be obtained from symbolic analysis and interpretation of the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” as Robert Frost has many complicated issues to cover. However, one of the prominent themes of the poem is the passage of time. In addition, death is also a major theme of this poem. On one hand, when the poem explores the effects of rapidly passing age, at the same time he reminds us to cherish the fleeting moments of life before they slip away. Regardless of interpretation, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is widely regarded as one of Robert Frost’s most memorable and remarkable poems.

The theme of Transience of Life

The transience of life is a central theme in Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” The poet illustrates that everything is temporary. The speaker conveys this message with a sense of sadness and resignation. In other meanings, the poet says that death is certain. Nonetheless, he encourages his readers to appreciate and cherish the short moments of beauty and perfection before death.

The Theme of the Inevitability of Change

An analysis of the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost reveals that the “Inevitability of Change” is its second important theme. Nothing is unchanging and nothing is everlasting. None of the most important things in life such as beauty, youth, good and bad is forever. In short, change is not only the law of nature but is also inevitable.

Deeper Critical Analysis of Robert Frost Poem Nothing Gold Can Stay

Concisely, the poem shares with us a beautiful perspective of life. The poet explains that nothing is everlasting and change is the law of nature. The speaker forces his readers to think about the idea that all things must eventually fade despite the fact that they seem beautiful and perfect. The primary image that the poet uses in this poem is “gold”. The speaker argues that this “gold” is going to last for a very short time. Symbolically, he conveys that nature, youth, beauty and perfection are not eternal and they must eventually decline.

First Line Analysis

The poem starts while describing “green” as “gold”. It is a symbol that refers to the idea of youth and innocence. Green usually symbolises new growth and freshness. The gold symbol in the first line of the poem represents the idea of value, beauty, and preciousness. Gold is often associated with wealth and luxury. Thus, green (youth/innocence) is gold (wealth/perfection). Youth is a valuable asset of life but in the second line of the poem the poet laments that all things that are gold, or valuable and beautiful, eventually fade and pass away. 

Second Line Analysis

The second line, the “hardest hue of dawn” in the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost refers to the colour of the sky at dawn. This symbol is used to describe the changing of the seasons (age) and the end of summer (youth). After a beautiful day, the dawn turns from the golden colour of sunrise to a harder, greyer hue which declares that life is going to end. In the context of the poem, the hardest hue of dawn represents the fading of the beauty and innocence of youth. 

Third Line Analysis

The “early leaf” and “flower” in the very next line are symbols in the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost creating an analysis of its two most important themes. One is the fleeting beauty of nature and the second is the transience of life. In the spring season, the first leaves and the first flowers seem beautiful but their beauty is not everlasting. Eventually, they fade and die. Thus, these are symbols that promote the main theme of the poem in respect of inevitability. 

Fourth Line Analysis

The phrase “only so an hour” refers to the short period of time during which things are at their peak of beauty and perfection. The speaker illustrates that the beauty and innocence of youth are temporary just like the beauty of the early leaf and flower. It comes to an end just like everything. It highlights the idea that life lasts for a very short time and that we must make the most of the time we have.

Fifth Line Analysis

Analysis of “Leaf subsides to leaf” in the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost refers to the way that one leaf replaces another. Similar is the case with humans.  Humans come, live and die but who lives in real meaning is what matters. It is in fact a metaphor that the poet uses to explain the cyclical nature of life and death. The good days would be replaced by bad days and vice versa; the cycle remains the same but change is inescapable.

Sixth Line Analysis

The “Eden sank to grief” refers to the story of the Garden of Eden from the Bible, where Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden and suffered the loss of their innocent and perfect existence. It also promotes the theme of “loss of innocence, beauty and goodness”. The poet wants to say that even the most perfect and beautiful things must eventually decline and fade away.

Seventh Line Analysis

The “dawn goes down to day” is a progression of time from dawn to daytime. It is the time when the golden light of dawn gives way to the bright light of day. After the loss of age of innocence, humans experience harsher realities of adulthood where there is hardly peace for anyone. 

Eighth Line Analysis

The poet Robert Frost concludes the poem with its title analysis “Nothing Gold Can Stay” which actually is the central idea of the poem and serves as a reminder that all good things eventually come to an end. The use of this symbol reinforces the theme of the poem, which is that we must cherish the moments of beauty and happiness in our lives while we can, as they will eventually fade away.

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