Poetry Study Aid: Stopping By Wood On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost


Stopping By Wood On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

The poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is in general viewed as a Frost's masterpiece. It is Frost's most famous poem and also perhaps Frost's most regularly taught poem. The speaker in the poem, probably the poet himself, is a traveller by horse on the darkest night of the year. He stops to gaze at a woods filling up with snow. While he is entranced by the beauty of the woods, he realises that he has duties and obligations and this realisation drags him away from the lure of enchantments of nature.
He thinks the owner of these woods is someone who lives in the village and will not see the speaker stopping on his property. While the speaker continues to look into the snowy woods, his little horse impatiently shakes the bells of its harness. The speaker outlines the beauty and allure of the woods as "lovely, dark, and deep," but reminds himself that he must not remain there, for he has "promises to keep," and a long journey ahead of him. He has a long way to travel before he rests. Here, the traveller, the journey and the sleep have symbolic meanings. The traveller is any individual on his/her great journey of life and sleep is the end of life or death, the eternal sleep.
The moral of the poem is that we should not be distracted by the temptations of life but complete all our duties and responsibilities before we end the journey of our life.

Extract 1
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.
(a)   Who is 'I' in this poem? Why is he unable to move from the place?
The poet as a traveller is the 'I' referred to here. He is returning home on his horse from far away. It is getting late. He has come to a place where there is a wood with an alluring charm. He is very much attracted by the beauty of the woods as it gets filled up with snow in a dark winter evening. Enchanted by the scenic splendour of the woods he finds himself rooted at the spot, unable to move away from the magnificent spectacle.
(b)  Who is the owner of wood? What is his significance here?
The poet thinks that the woods is owned by someone he knows who lives in a house in village. The poet feels that the owner is unaware of the beauty of his woods.
The house and the village signify civilisation and the owner of the woods living in a house in a village suggests the alienation of man from nature. The woods, a symbol of nature, is contrasted with the house and the village, symbols of civilisation.
(c)   Though a lover of nature, the traveller is conscious of his obligations of his life. Substantiate.
We can definitely assert that the traveller is a lover of the nature. Being spellbound by the stunning sight of the woods filling with snow and the pristine white frozen lake, he momentarily buries his family and social obligations.
The traveller is clearly conscious of his obligations and responsibilities of his life. Although he is excited to take pleasure in the beauteous grandeur of the place for a longer time; he considers his responsibilities and this presses him to go forward in his journey.
(d)  What is the theme and philosophy of the poem?
Frost has employed a simple incident to present a profound philosophical reflection. The journey in the poem is a metaphor of the life journey. Even though the traveller is greatly attracted by the beauty of the woods, he cannot stand and stare for a long time. He has many promises to keep and many duties and responsibilities to complete.
The speaker outlines the beauty and allure of the woods as "lovely, dark, and deep," but reminds himself that he must not remain there, for he has "promises to keep," and a long journey ahead of him. He has a long way to travel before he rests. Here, the traveller, the journey and the sleep hold symbolic significances. The traveller is a man on his great journey of life and sleep is the end of life or death, the eternal sleep.
The moral of the poem is that we should not be distracted by the temptations of life but complete all our duties and responsibilities before we end the journey of our life.
Extract 2
My little horse must think it queer.
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
(a)   What does 'must' mean here? Is the "little horse" a part of his occupation? What is the role of the horse in the poem?
The speaker, probably the poet himself, who is riding his horse, stops by a lovely, mysterious and deep wood. The poet is tempted to stay more at this beautiful place. However, the thought of his responsibilities urges him to continue his journey.
The speaker is almost certainly a farmer, returning home in a hurry.
The horse further suggests the total alienation of man from nature, The horse is so domesticated that it thinks like man. The horse thinks that the traveller has made a mistake to stop at a place where there is no source for rest and food. The horse is impatient to carry on the journey whereas the traveller desires to stop and absorb the beauty of nature. The horse shakes it harness bells and the chiming of the bells brings back the poet to the reality of life. Thus, the horse, in a way, acts as the intermediary vehicle that makes the speaker conscious that he has a long way to go before he gets home to sleep and that he has many promises to keep and many duties and responsibilities to complete.
(b)  Which season of the year is being described? Support your answer from the stanza. What does the darkest night imply?
The winter season of the year is being described. The falling of snow, the freezing of lake are the features of winter season. Moreover, the darkest night suggests the winter solstice (22 December).
As the whole poem is a metaphor for a man's journey through his life, the darkest night probably implies a critically despondent juncture in the poet's life when he is caught with the temptation to escape from the harsh realities of life that overawe him.
Extract 3
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake
(a)   What does "he" stands for? Why does he think there is some mistake?
The horse is referred to as He here. The horse feels there is some mistake since he finds there no farmhouse nearby which can provide food and rest.
The poet has used here the figure of speech of personification. The horse further suggests the total alienation of man from nature, The horse is so domesticated that it thinks like a man. The horse thinks that the traveller has made a mistake to stop at a place where there is no source for rest and food. The horse is impatient to carry on the journey whereas the traveller desires to stop and soak up the beauty of nature.
(b)  It is very quiet all around. What lines emphases this? What are the three sounds that the poet mentions?
The place attracts the poet too much but is very all around. The sound of wind and snowfall emphasizes the quiet of the wilderness. Though the place seems attractive, there seems no sign of liveliness all around.
In the stanza only there sounds are mentioned. In this dark-deep forest one can hear the sound of wind, sound of snowfall and the sound of harness of the horse.
(c)   Explain: Of easy wind and downy flake
The sweep of the wind provides ease and comfort and the soft caress of the downy flake provides pleasure. The immense pleasure that the poet experiences in the solitude of the woods is suggested by Of easy wind and downy flake
Extract 4
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go to before I sleep.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
(a)   Explain: The woods are lovely, dark and deep
The speaker in the poem, probably the poet himself, is a traveller by horse on the darkest night of the year. He stops to gaze at a woods filling up with snow. He is captivated by the loveliness of the woods,
The word lovely suggests the beauty and allure of the place; dark and deep suggest the mysterious attraction of the dark deep wood. Life is also like the woods- lovely dark and deep; life too has its charm, mystery and depth.
(b)  What is the significance of the word 'But' in the second line? Why he has to move from that attractive place?
'But' in the second line reminds the poet that he must not remain there, for he has "promises to keep," and a long journey ahead of him. He has a long way to travel before he rests. Here, the traveller, the journey and the sleep take symbolic implications. The traveller is a man on his great journey of life and sleep is the end of life or death, the eternal sleep. Hence, much against his keenness to stay there to indulge in the soothing sensation of the solitude, the poet carries on as he has to cover long distance in order to keep his promise.
(c)   Why is you opinion, does the poet repeat the line "And miles to go before I sleep"?
The poet repeats the line "And miles to go before I sleep" as a sign of his resolve to move on his journey and not be bewitched by the splendour of the beautiful scene. He recognises that he has to travel long and has promises to keep.
Frost has employed a simple incident to present a profound philosophical reflection. The journey in the poem is a metaphor of the life journey. Even though the traveller is greatly attracted by the beauty of the woods, he cannot stand and stare for a long time. He has many promises to keep and many duties and responsibilities to complete.
The speaker outlines the beauty and allure of the woods but reminds himself that he must not remain there, for he has "promises to keep," and a long journey ahead of him. Here, the traveller, the journey and the sleep have symbolic meanings. The traveller is a man on his great journey of life and sleep is the end of life or death, the eternal sleep.

Transformation of Sentences: Degree of Comparison

1. A horse is more intelligent than an ass.
An ass is not as intelligent as a horse.
2. A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
A foolish friend is not as good as a wise enemy.
3. Bombay is the best sea-port in India.
No other seaport in India is as good as Bombay.
4. Disraeli was the greatest statesman of England.
No other statesman of England was as great as Disraeli.
5. There are few districts as fertile as Hoshiarpur.
Hoshiapur is one of the most fertile districts.
6. Kalidasa is one of the greatest poets.
Very few poets are as great as Kalidasa.
7. Very few books are as popular as Dickens David Copperfield.
Dickens’ David Copperfield is one of the most popular books.
8. Gold is one of the most precious metals.
Very few metals are as precious as gols.
9. It is easier to speak than to act.
Action is not as easy as speech.
10. The train runs faster than a horse-cart.
A horse cart does run as fast the train.

ICSE 2015 Model Examination English 2

English Paper 2
Literature in English
(Two hours)


Answers to this paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes. This time is to read the question paper. The time given at the head of this paper is the time allotted for writing the answers.
You must attempt one question each from Section A, B, and C and any two other questions.
Attempt five questions in all.


SECTION A
Drama: The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare
Question 1
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Antonio:
Content, i’faith: I’ll seal to such a bond,
And say there is much kindness in the Jew.
Bassanio:
You shall not dwell to such a bond for me;
I shall rather dwell in my necessity.
Antonio:
Why, fear not, man: I will not forfeit it.
(a)   Where are Antonio and Bassanio? Who is with them? Why are they there?                     [3]
(b)  What are the terms of such a bond? Why does Shylock call it a merry bond?                    [3]
(c)   Do you think there much kindness in the Jew? Substantiate your answer.                   [3]
(d)  Explain:                                                                                                                       [3]
a.     dwell in my necessity
b.     I will not forfeit it.
(e)   Do you think that Antonio’s confidence that he shall not forfeit his bond is misplaced? Why? What does Shylock say earlier in the scene regarding the perils of the sea?          [4]
Question 2
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Shylock:
Shall I not have barely my principal?
Portia:
Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken so at thy peril, Jew.
Shylock:
Why, then the devil give him good of it!
Portia:
Tarry, Jew                         
The law hath yet another hold on you.

(a)   Where does the scene take place? Why?                                                                   [3]
(b)  How are Portia and Nerissa dressed now? Why?                                                        [3]
(c)   What had made Shylock ask for barely his principal?                                               [3]
(d)  Why does Portia say at thy peril?                                                                               [3]
(e)   Do you justify Shylock’s fate at the end? Give reason.                                             [4]



SECTION B
Poetry: A Collection of ICSE
Poetry and Short Stories
Question 3
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
The boat is lower’d; the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And cut the Inchcape Float?
(a)   Where is the Inchcape Rock? Why is it dangerous? Who kept a bell over there? Why? [3]
(b)  Why did Sir Ralph cut the down the Inchcape Bell? What does his action reveal of his character?                                                                                                                      [3]
(c)   What happens to Sir Ralph’s pirate ship when he returns? Why?                             [3]
(d)  Later in the poem. The poet writes The Devil below was ringing his knell. Describe the circumstance that makes the poet to write so.                                                                 [3]

ICSE 2015: English 2: Preparatory Test Three

ICSE 2015: English 2: Preparatory Test Three
Drama: The Merchant of Venice & Poetry
Poetry: Time: One hour  Maximum Marks: 45
All questions carry equal marks
Question 1
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Stephano:
Stephano is my name; and I bring word
My mistress will before the break of day
Be here at Belmont: she doth stray about
By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
For happy wedlock hours.
Lorenzo:
Who come with her?
(a) Where does this scene take place? What message does he bring?
(b) According to the extract, what was his mistress doing during her absence from home?
(c) What was she actually doing in her absence?
(d) What was the role of his mistress’
(e) The love story of Lorenzo and Jessica is a subplot in the play. Discuss how this sub-plot relates to the main love story of Bassanio and Portia.
Question 2
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

ICSE 2015: English 2: Preparatory Test Three

ICSE 2015: English 2: Preparatory Test Three
Drama: The Merchant of Venice & Poetry
Poetry: Time: One hour  Maximum Marks: 45
All questions carry equal marks
Question 1
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Stephano:
Stephano is my name; and I bring word
My mistress will before the break of day
Be here at Belmont: she doth stray about
By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
For happy wedlock hours.
Lorenzo:
Who come with her?
(a) Where does this scene take place? What message does he bring?
(b) According to the extract, what was his mistress doing during her absence from home?
(c) What was she actually doing in her absence?
(d) What was the role of his mistress’
(e) The love story of Lorenzo and Jessica is a subplot in the play. Discuss how this sub-plot relates to the main love story of Bassanio and Portia.