All posts by Anoushka Mukherji

In this platform, I have been able to share every depth of my joy and sorrow. I try going beyond the rights and wrong and accept the circumstances as it is. So it is my earnest efforts that you see at display.

IMMANUEL KANT’S MORAL THEORY

The philosophy of Kant centered around the significance of non-public autonomy which persons tough to not be simply used.

Kant was a German philosophy professor who taught at the University of Konigsberg. he’s now considered a central figure within the history of contemporary philosophy. He was a firm believer within the ideas of the Enlightened especially reason and freedom. Kant asserted that we must always not think about the human knower as revolving around objects known. The knowledge he believed wasn’t the passive perception of things even as they’re Forms within the mind determine the spatial and temporal nature of our world and provides experience its basic structures.

MORAL WORTH OF AN ACT

Kant believed the moral worth of an act to be determined not by the implications caused by it but by our motives or intentions. the concept behind this is often that we generally ought to not be blamed or praised for what’s not in our control. He believed the implications of our acts to not be in our control, unlike our motives. Another objection raised by Kant has supported his views that as rational beings or persons mustn’t be seen as having only instrumental value but also intrinsic value.

Kant’s analysis of the common moral concepts of “duty” and “goodwill” led him to believe that we are free and autonomous as long as morality, itself, isn’t an illusion. Yet within the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant also tried to point out that each event encompasses a cause. Kant recognized that there seems to be a deep tension between these two claims: If causal determinism is true then, it seems, we cannot have the sort of freedom that morality presupposes, which is “a quite causality” that “can move, independently of alien causes determining it” (G 4:446).

Kant thought that the sole thanks to resolving this apparent conflict are to tell apart between phenomena, which is what we all know through experience, and noumena, which we will consistently think but not know through experience. Our knowledge and understanding of the empirical world, Kant argued, can only arise within the bounds of our perceptual and cognitive powers. we must always not assume, however, that we all know all that will be true about “things in themselves,” although we lack the “intellectual intuition” that might be needed to find out about such things.

These distinctions, consistent with Kant, allow us to resolve the “antinomy” about power by interpreting the “thesis” that power is feasible as about noumena and also the “antithesis” that each event features a cause as about phenomena. Morality thus presupposes that agents, in an incomprehensible “intelligible world,” are able to make things happen by their own free choices in an exceedingly “sensible world” during which causal determinism is true.

Many of Kant’s commentators, who are skeptical about these apparently exorbitant metaphysical claims, have attempted to create a sense of his discussions of the intelligible and sensible worlds in less metaphysically demanding ways. On one interpretation (Hudson 1994), one and also the same act may be described in wholly physical terms (as an appearance) and also in irreducibly mental terms (as a thing in itself). On this compatibilist picture, all acts are causally determined, but a free act is one that may be described as determined by irreducibly mental causes, and particularly by the causality of reason. A second interpretation holds that the intelligible and sensible worlds are used as metaphors for 2 ways of conceiving of 1 and also the same world (Korsgaard 1996; Allison 1990; Hill 1989a, 1989b). once we are engaged in scientific or empirical investigations, we frequently take up a perspective during which we predict of things as subject to natural causation, but after we deliberate, act, reason and judge, we regularly take up a unique perspective, during which we predict of ourselves et al as agents who don’t seem to be determined by natural causes. Continue reading IMMANUEL KANT’S MORAL THEORY

ANALYSING MILLS UTILITARIANISM-2

THE GREATEST HAPPINESS PRINCIPLE

Mill says in keeping with the best happiness principle, the last word ends with relation to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable whether of ourselves or of others is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain and as rich as possible in enjoyment both in point of quality and quality. in a very very imperfect state of the world’s arrangements that anyone can best serve the happiness of others by absolutely the sacrifice of his own, Mill recognizes the readiness to form such a sacrifice because of the highest virtue in man. The utilitarian morality does recognize in individuals the facility of sacrificing their own greatest good for the great of others but refuses to admit it as an honest. It doesn’t glorify the sacrifices pretty much as good nor applaud it as this sacrifice doesn’t increase the accumulation of happiness i.e. the ratio becomes 0:1 which is taken into account a d wasted. the sole self-renunciation applauds is devotion to the happiness The utilitarian standard for what’s right conduct isn’t the agent’s own happiness which of others. Utilitarianism requires us to be an as strictly impartial and as disinterested and benevolent spectator

Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle (Principle of Utility) establishes that happiness is that the ultimate criterion to ascertain what’s moral and what’s not, i.e., the best moral society is that the one where everybody is happy and everybody is freed from pain. Such an inspiration, however, can be problematic, since it’s a fact of life that the happiness of people sometimes conflicts. for example, if individual A thinks that cash may be a fundamental means of accelerating his/her happiness and decreasing his/her suffering and decides to steal from B he/she will, then, be probably happier after he/she has successfully concluded the robbery. the matter is that B is going to be probably less happy and suffering more after being robbed and, thus, if the criterion of utility were based only on the happiness of every individual, it might be completely useless to guide people’s actions, especially those where there’s a conflict of interests. Mill was cognizant of this, which is why he makes it clear that the utilitarian standard isn’t the agent’s own happiness, but the best amount of happiness altogether.2

But what does “the greatest amount of happiness altogether” mean? It seems that Mill provides a solution to the current question when he attempts to prove the principle of utility in chapter 4 of “Utilitarianism”. He says:3

No reason is often given why the overall happiness is desirable, except that every person, thus far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, is a fact, we’ve got not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it’s possible to need, that happiness is good; that every person’s happiness could be a good to it personally, and also the general happiness, therefore, a decent to the combination of all persons. within the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth “To do as you’d be done by”and to like your neighbor as you’d love yourself. Continue reading ANALYSING MILLS UTILITARIANISM-2

GOA

Reimagining  Goa was an experience that was soulful. Goa was like food for the soul. So quiet in contrast to the hip and happening place shown on any travelogue or advertisement. I never assumed that it would be such an enjoyable turnout. The lush green scenery was a feast for the eyes. Although it was a problem that we couldn’t get a driver given to the situation prevailing in South Goa due to the Taxi Unions which were very strong and did not allow Uber or Ola to ply. But that paved the way for my father to drive the car!  It felt good to drive alongside greenery and beautiful pristine waters and streams. I was at first perplexed to see the weird houses with roofs slanting and jutted out, but then I started to realize and recognize the beauty behind it. The colorful and energetic colors of the houses complimented the cheerful nature of the people there. The first day was a little troublesome as we had lost our way of trying to reach the sterling. Finally, when we did make it to our destination, it was worth the trouble. Starting from the view to the helpful staff, all of this made me feel like Goa was meant to be like a  home away from home. The first tour to the beach made a lasting impression as it was very soothing as well as peaceful. The white sands of the beach had a warm glow to it. Overall it was a very relaxing trip to the Varca beach. We ended our day by having an appetizing meal as well as a sound sleep.

For our second day in Goa we decided that wandering around the beach would be the safest bet for us as there were not many places we were familiar with. The second beach in Panjim was just like we had imagined, with the warm wind blowing lightly but strong enough to blow your sunhats away, we had a delightful time exploring every nook and crane. After sometimes as our appetites came back even after the large breakfast we had which included chole puri, cornflakes, and tea, we went to a nearby shack to satiate our hunger. All of us were amazed at the sheer size of the prawn and crabs that were being served to us and we couldn’t control our amazement even gasping at the sight of them. After a hearty meal, we decided to visit the famous Don Bosco shrine in Panjim Goa. Many would recognize it as the most sought after place for Bollywood movie shooting to take place. After relaxing in the afternoon, we got to hear that there was a small party to be held in the sterling resort that day, so we gathered on the lawn and started mingling with the crowds. The whole theme was giving a proper Goan vibe and we could feel ourselves enjoying to the fullest. The food was also delicious enough and had a variety of dishes. After the day came to an end, we retired to our respective rooms and had a goodnight’s sleep.

PHOTOGRAPHING MOTHER

ABOUT THE POET

Tribhuvandas Purushottamdas Luhar, better known by his pen name Sundaram, (22 March 1908 – 13 January 1991), was a Gujarati poet and author from India. He was born on 22 March 1908 at Miyan Matar, BharuchBombay PresidencyBritish India. He completed his primary education in the local school of Matar and five grades in the English medium at Amod, Gujarat. Later he studied at Chhotubhai Purani’s Rashtriya New English School, Bharuch. He graduated in languages from Gujarat VidyapithAhmedabad in 1929. He started teaching in Gurukul at Songadh. He participated in Indian independence movement and was imprisoned for some time. He was associated with Jyotisangh, the women’s organization in Ahmedabad, from 1935 to 1945. He was introduced to Sri Aurobindo in 1945 and he moved to Pondicherry. He presided Gujarati Sahitya Parishad in 1970. He died on 13 January 1991.[1][2][3][4]

ABOUT THE POEM

The poem photographing mother by Sundaram shows the poet’s regrets and also the tragedy of the situation; of his mother’s sorrowful state of disease-ridden health and years of neglect. The photographer tries to be kind to the poet’s mother and calls her Ba. He tries to create her feel comfortable and relaxed and tells her to use caution to not blink. Even the slightest error would mean the waste of a plate and repetition of the entire procedure, The silver-tongued photographer fussing around his mother is barely doing his job unaware of her illness but his request to the poet’s mother has the other effects. The poet’s mother spent all her time doing the housework that she got no gratitude. Since she was passionate about her in-laws we are able to presume that she never protested. forgetting about her own problems she looked toward her children’s future. The poem is structured around the artificiality of the photograph and therefore the harsh reality during which the poet’s mother lives. The poet and his brother try and compensate their mother by trying to alleviate her pain and pleasing her in various ways which are shown within the poem as taking her bent show her town and therefore the palaces, parks, cinema halls, and theatres. But this just looks as if a measly token of appreciation. The poet doesn’t hesitate to require the blame partly for his mother’s condition and feels shame and regret as he sees her lifeless smile plastered on her mother’s face and lastly, it’s shown that s a memorial of affection, he takes her to the studio for s photograph for the last time.

The box-camera, because the name suggests, was basically an oversized box with a viewing
window at one end and therefore the lens at the opposite. Within the box was a sliding frame, which held
a ground glass plate and which the photographer could draw back and forth. The image could
be seen on this plate. Once the photographer had arranged the background and seated his
subject he would go under the black cloth with which the camera was covered. This helped
to keep the sunshine and adjust the main target. Since it had been out of the question to physically move the heavy
camera, the photographer would slide the frame back and forth until he was satisfied with the
result. What made his task harder was the actual fact that the image on the glass plate was
inverted. After that, he would cover the lens, replace the bottom glass plate with a glass plate
covered with a light-sensitive chemical like collodion, and so remove the duvet over the lens.

SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO A SUMMER’S DAY

ABOUT THE POET

William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet, and actor widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” (or simply “the Bard”). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of the uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted. Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613.[11][12][d] His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. Until about 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, among them HamletRomeo and JulietOthelloKing Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language.[2][3][4] In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies.

ABOUT THE POEM

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day is one of the 154 sonnets composed by William Shakespeare. Directed towards his beloved friend, this sonnet enhances the true beauty of the young man whose glories are sung in this sonnet. The poet’s friend in his exuberant self is lovelier and is ceaselessly present in comparison to the fleeting and oppressive summer. Shakespeare describes the summer’s diminishing beauty when the clouds dim its shine, its golden complexion is hidden. Contrary to this, his friend’s loveliness is eternal and everlasting, defying the choice of nature and misfortunes, his youth will not fade. He is immortalized in the poet’s verse for which death will not be able to claim him making him as long as people are present on this earth, he will live forever in his verses. This ‘love poem’ is written not in praise of the beloved it seems but as a self-glorification as death won’t’ be able to brag says the poet, but the poet shall brag as his poem will be present eternally

LINE WISE EXPLANATION

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate
The poet asks his friend whether he would compare him to a summer’s day, but then soon professes that he is far lovelier and more constant than the summer
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Rough winds shake the beloved buds of may signifies the oncoming of summer when buds are starting to grow till spring when they will be in full bloom. And summer’s lease is far too short, which means summer is far too short.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
Here the poet wishes to stress upon this that the summer month is far too strong and short from heaven where it shines form. Often its golden appearance is hidden when clouds cover it thus its beauty is not timelessly present.
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
The poet says every beautiful object will lose its beauty someday by the choice of nature or misfortune.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’ st;
The poet’s friend will not lose his beauty rather his loveliness will be eternally present which is referred to as the eternal summer and his youth will remain with him.
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
Nor shall death be allowed to take the young man with him because in his verse he will live immortalized.
 So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
As long as men shall live and as far as eyes could see, the poet’s poem will live forever, and thus so will the young man.

THE BET

THE BET

Anton Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short story producer who is considered one of the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov had at first written stories to earn money but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovation which has influenced the evolution of modern short stories.

PLOT ANALYSIS 

In the Bet, Chekhov puts forth a really intriguing argument, whether captivity is worse than death penalty. He portrays this through the characters in his play, during which a banker proposes a lawyer to participate during a bet where he’s asked to spend fifteen years of his life in voluntary confinement with the minimum level of entertainment available at his disposal. The lawyer is embodied as a awfully naive youth who indulges himself during this with no regrets or remorse. Through this Chekhov brings to our attention the foolishness of youth where the lawyer, just to achieve two million dollars gave up fifteen years of his independence. it’s then left to our interpretation on whether the lawyer has changed for the higher or for the more severe as, during those years, the lawyer certainly grows wiser but also cynical and pessimistic. He shows gratitude towards the banker and is thankful to him for the wisdom he gained from the books but he also despises the very wisdom he gained from them. it’s very aptly shown how separation from human society has taken a toll on the lawyers he starts perceiving men with contempt and ridicules their naivety. The story ends with the layer renouncing the 2 million dollars which it seems is meant to point out how the lawyer now doesn’t care about monetary gains like he accustomed. Whether it had been an utter failure or an immeasurable gain on the lawyer’s part is left open-ended.

CHARACTER SKETCH OF THE LAWYER

In the bet initially, the lawyer is introduced by Chekhov as a young man who is tempted by the proposal of two million million dollars and is prepared to sacrifice his independence for it. Later on, because the story progresses, the lawyer is shown to become very wise and idealistic. He values his ideals and morals then again he also gives in to his voices when he starts drinking and smoking constantly. Nevertheless, the lawyer reaches wise words and starts despising human interactions altogether which shows how years of confinement have taken a toll on him. After dwelling within the literary wonders of the banker’s books he involves realize that every one material and earthly possessions area worthless and humans who strive to achieve from them are foolish to try and do so for death which is able to eventually come won’t allow you to leave a trace behind. This shows that the lawyer who was once very daring and greedy for obtaining the money has become very cynical and free from material gains. Lastly, the lawyer is shown renouncing the 2 million dollars and thereby sticking to his moral principle.

MAD GIRL’S LOVE SONG

Mad Girl’s Love Song

Summary

This poem summary focuses on the poem ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ by the confessional poet Sylvia Plath. Before looking at the content of the poem, one must look at its title though. ‘Mad’ is here used to mean both mentally unstable, and angry. The fact that Plath characterizes herself as a ‘mad girl’ shows that she is both self-reflexive, and self-mocking. It seems, at first glance, to be a poem about lost love and its caustic effects.

‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ is made up of six stanzas. The first five stanzas are tercets consisting of three lines, while the sixth and final stanza is a quatrain consisting of four lines. The first stanza introduces Plath speaking to us readers in her own person, in the mode of all confessional poetry. Plath plays on the saying “seeing is believing.” She shuts her eyes and the world that is making her suffer seems to disappear. However, when she reopens her eyes, it is evident that she has not been able to escape that world. When she doesn’t see the world, she believes that it is dead. But when she confronts the world in front of her eyes, she cannot deny its existence. Plath ends this stanza by saying that the lover whose absence is making her miserable is probably just an illusion that she herself has created within her troubled mind.

In the second stanza, Plath says that the stars that could have lit up her life have gone “waltzing out”. This particular expression has two connotations – one, that only the stars had given her joy when they had still been there, in which case she is hinting at the fact that the relationship she is lamenting wasn’t very fulfilling, to begin with, and two, that even the stars are happy to desert her in her misery. Next, Plath says that in place of the stars, “arbitrary blackness” has come “gallop(ing) in.” The fact that this blackness is arbitrary shows that it can affect anybody at any time. Plath is, in fact, hinting at depression here. “Galloping” connotes a fast-paced movement, like an onslaught. It is as if depression has charged at her suddenly, and attacked her with full force. The third line of this stanza is a repetition of the first line of the poem, with Plath pretending that all her sorrows will disappear if only she stops acknowledging the existence of this world.

In the third stanza, Plath says that she dreamed of her lover casting a spell on her to make sure that she ends up in her bed. But this spell smacks of black magic, rather than the romantic sense of a man ‘charming’ a woman with his ways. She goes on to say that in her dream, her lover sang to her and kissed her “quite insane.” The fact that she uses the more formal ‘insane’ rather than the colloquial ‘crazy’ shows that she is not talking of romance, but of the adverse effects of love. Moreover, the only place where her lover is seen is in a dream, which leads her to the logical conclusion that she must have conjured him up inside her head.

The fourth stanza has Plath talking of both heaven and hell and saying that neither matters to her. God is no longer up in the sky where He belongs, hell’s fires have been quenched, and both the good angels and Satan’s men have disappeared from her life. Plath is hinting at the fact that her madness is oblivious to consequences since the rational man fears God’s judgment, but she does not. This stanza ends with the repetition that the earth seems to disappear when she closes her eyes. Reading this line immediately reminds us that in fact, the earth will reappear when she opens her eyes once again. Thus Plath is aware (though she may not want to admit it) that heaven and hell are also real, and that her actions have consequences. The suffering that she is undergoing is after all a consequence of her love for a man who never deserved her.

In the fifth stanza, Plath says that she had once believed that her lover, who had deserted her, would one day return to her. However, that does not seem to be happening. Instead, she is growing old. Plath is intensely aware that “love is for the young.” Plath goes on to say that with the passing of years, she has started to forget his name. Here a tone of bitterness is detected as if by forgetting his name she is revenging herself on him for forgetting her. The fact that the name is slipping from her again makes her think that perhaps the lover was just an illusion.

In the sixth stanza, Plath says that instead of a man she should have loved a thunderbird. The Thunderbird is a mythical bird that supposedly leaves for the winter but always returns in springtime. This has two connotations. Firstly, Plath is hinting that she would have compromised and been happy if her lover had only been present sometimes rather than be with her forever. This is an indication of the fact that she suffers from low self-esteem. Secondly, Plath is saying that she would prefer an imaginary and inconsistent love, rather than a real and absent one. The tone of anguish here is unmistakable. The poem ends with the repetition of the first and third lines from the first stanza, in which Plath seems, in fact, to retreat to a world of imagination with her eyes closed and becomes enveloped entirely by her troubled mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

This poem analysis of ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ is divided into three parts – context, rhyme scheme and rhetorical devices, and deeper meaning. In the absence of any one of these, this poem explanation would be incomplete.

Context: ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ was written by Plath while she was still at Smith College, and before her first suicide attempt on 24th August 1953. An early poem, this is nevertheless exemplary of Plath’s work and her style of poetry writing as a whole. Dealing with the themes of depression and schizophrenia, this confessional poem shows Plath being as unabashed as she has always been in her best poetry. The combination of anger and anguish point to her attempt to give self-expression to her suicidal thoughts, to represent the tumultuous emotions one can go through before taking this supposedly irrational step. Hence it is that Plath clearly characterises herself as mentally unstable. The schizophrenia that was the spirit of the age in the postmodern era is also evident in Plath’s movement between seeing the world clearly and being unable to escape it at one moment, and then doubting its very existence at the next moment.

Rhyme Scheme and Rhetorical Devices: This part of the poem analysis is based on how Plath follows the verse form of a ‘villanelle’ in ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’. A villanelle is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. Here the first line of the first stanza (“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead”) is repeated in the last line of the second and fourth stanzas, and the penultimate line of the sixth stanza. The third line of the first stanza (“I think I made you up inside my head”) is again repeated in the last line of the third, fifth and sixth stanzas. Moreover, the first and third lines of all the six stanzas rhyme with one another. Hence it can safely be said that ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ is a perfect villanelle. The kind of repetition that goes into the making of a villanelle like this one also points to obsession, which is consistent with the obsession that Plath seems to be having with the lover that she has lost in this poem.

A rhetorical device that Plath is using in this poem is personification, in which a non-living thing is endowed the qualities of a human being. By giving the stars the ability to waltz, and the “arbitrary blackness” the ability to gallop, Plath is personifying them without however capitalizing their names. This shows that she is in fact hinting at something greater than light and darkness. She is acknowledging the power of both hope and depression to make and mar a (wo)man’s life.

Deeper Meanings: This part of the poem explanation focuses on two possible interpretations of ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ that might not be apparent in the very words of the poem, but seem obvious enough to a reader acquainted with Plath’s life and work. Both of these interpretations depend on the various references that Plath may be making through the use of the word “you” in this poem.

It is well known that Plath’s father passed away when she was just eight years old. The theme of betrayal that is apparent when Plath says that the “you” in her poem has never returned is also apparent in poems such as ‘Daddy’, in which Plath speaks of the absent presence of her father in her life. In both these poems again, there is a tone of yearning, with an underlying anger that threatens to break out at any instant.

The other thing that “you” could refer to is Plath’s own writing skills. Plath could be saying that she had only imagined she could write, that in fact it was just a dream or an illusion. This is consistent with the low self-esteem that we associate with one who suffers from depression, and with generations of women writers who had been led to believe that they are not fit for the writing profession. Plath, like all American women of the 50s and 60s, thought that marriage and child-bearing were not compatible with writing as a career. In response to rising pressure from her mother to get married while she was still in college, perhaps Plath had been unable to concentrate on her poetry, believing she would no longer be able to pursue it, and making herself believe that she wasn’t even very good at it to begin with.

No matter what “you” refers to, the heart of the matter is that Plath is absolutely honest about how much that “you” matters to her, and this is why the poem appears to readers to be so passionately written.

STOPPING BY THE WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

 

About the Poet:

Robert Frost was born to William Prescott Frost Jr. and Isabelle Moodie on 26th March 1894 in San Francisco. After he lost his father to Tuberculosis, a six-year-old Frost moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts. It was during his high school years in Lawrence that a young Frost who would later go on to become the Poet Laureate of the United States of America got interested in reading and writing. Frost later enrolled at Harvard University. In 1912, Frost moved with his wife Elinor Miriam White to New Hampshire and it was then that he came in contact with British poets who greatly influenced his poetry. By the time Frost returned to America in 1915, his reputation as a poet had been concretized and he already had two poetry collections to his fame – A Boy’s Will and North of Boston. By the 1920s, Frost was considered at the top of the poets’ circle in America. Some of his important collections are New Hampshire, A Further Range, Steeple Bush, In the Clearing, and so on. He was awarded frequently during his lifetime receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry.

About the Poem:

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening was written by Robert Frost in 1922 and published in 1923 in his New Hampshire Volume.

This poem is a perfect exemplification of Frost’s meditative style of writing. The biography has it, that Frost wrote in course of a single night time, such that it can be considered as a spontaneous overflow of emotion. However, the spontaneity in the poem is not of the kind which we notice in the poems of the Romantics of the 19th Century. It is muted, somber, and deeply introspective. Following traditionFrostian poetry, this poem is very simple. There is hardly a word in this poem for which we will have to open the dictionary. Nor are there any devices that shroud any transparency of meaning. This simplicity is a typical trait of Frost’s poems. However, beneath the veneer of simplicity Frost has planted a deep philosophy born out of a conflict between pleasure and responsibilities – something which we all experience at every point in my life. It is the universality of the message of the poem which makes it speak to all ages and all readers. It has been almost ninety-two years since the poem got published, but readers across the globe still read it with the same interest since it will always be contemporary to the human condition. This poem bears testimony to the fact that poetry does not necessarily have to be complex. It can be very accessible and still be one of the revered pieces of poetry.

Stanza-wise Summary:

1st Stanza:

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.

The first stanza documents the narrator’s first response upon entering the woods. Going by the repertoire of Frost’s subject matter, it is safe to assume that the woods belong to the English countryside. The narrator says that he thinks he is aware of the ownership of the woods and that the owner has his home in the village, away from the wilderness. With the very first line, it becomes clear to the readers that the narrator exercises no proprietorship over the woods. The third line of the stanza gives the readers a slight indication that the narrator might be trespassing – “He will not see me stopping here”. This musing of the narrator makes us wonder whether the owner would have had a problem with someone randomly stopping at his woods if he were present at the scene to notice the same. With the words “fill up with snow’, the poet draws a beautiful picture of snow-flakes spreading across the wilderness. The word ‘his’ in the last line opens a window of meaning. Frost could have used the article ‘the’ but instead, he chooses to use ‘his’ to indicate the fact that the narrator has no scruples against enjoying the beauty of something which does not belong to him.

The task for the reader: Replace the words ‘his’ with ‘the’ to check how the meaning is getting altered. This will go on to show that every word used in a poem is used economically and with a purpose.

2nd Stanza:

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.

The second stanza speaks about the absurdity of the act of stopping in the middle of woods on a really cold night. This act of the poet perplexes his horse. Having traveled with his master quite a bit, the horse is used to stopping only when there is a farmhouse near in order to take rest after a long period of travel. Hence, the horse finds it a rather absurd act on the part of the narrator to stop when there is no scope of rest. As readers, it is hard to say whether the horse, being just an animal really thought all of this. Maybe the narrator himself considered his act of stopping on his journey without any purpose strange and tried to convey the strangeness of his actions by speaking about it as if they could be the horse’s thoughts. The third line paints a picture of the geography of the location in which the poet is stopping – there are trees around and also a frozen lake. The fact that the lake is frozen reveals that it is high wintertime. This information gets stressed in the last line of the poem when the narrator declares that it “the darkest evening of the year”. In other words, it is the peak of winter.

3rd Stanza:

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.

This stanza highlights the silence of the night. The narrator’s horse shakes his harness which leads the bells on it to give out a jingling sound. The horse does so as a means to inquire after why the poet has stopped in the absence of a farmhouse. Apart from the sound of the bells, the poet can also hear the sound of the flowing wind and that of the soft snowflakes falling on the ground. The words, ‘only other’ accentuate the silence of the night. The night is so quiet that one can hear the wind flow and the flakes fall. Such a deep silence is also an indication of the solitude which the narrator must be experiencing during his moments in the woods.

4th Stanza:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

In the final stanza, the poet talks about the beauty of the woods and the sense of duty of the narrator. He says that the wilderness is lovely, dark, and deep. The darkness of the winter night is enhancing the charm of the woods in the narrator’s eyes and the density of the woods due to a large number of trees in it, makes it a pleasure to just stand and perceive the beauty of the woods. However, from the second line itself the narrator makes it very clear that although the woods are extremely enchanting, he cannot stop enjoying the pleasures which it has to offer. This is because the narrator has ‘promises to keep’. Promises here stands for any commitments that the poet might have made. It is clear that the poet is on his way to somewhere.

Critical Analysis:

On the outset, the poem Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening appears to be the musings of a lone traveler on the beauty of snow-filled woods on a wintery night. This is juxtaposed with his awareness of time constraints that restrict him from giving in to the beauty of Nature due to his sense of duty. However, after delving deeper into the poem we realize that the poem is a microcosm of a very common situation which we all come across at different points in our lives. It is an exemplification of those times when we are tempted to just sit back and relax; to just take a back-seat in our own lives to appreciate the small joys and pleasures that life has to offer but can’t because of all the work-load that always ties us down.

In spite of being written in an older century, this poem is all the more relevant to the life of the 21st Century when life moves at a cosmic pace and we always have someplace to get to or some pressing work breathing down our necks. While leading this busy lifestyle, there come those times when we just want to give it all up to rejuvenate and enjoy life. However, our pressing sense of duty gives us a reality check and we realize that there is no time for relaxation unless we get done with all the work that life has assigned to us. The constant tussle between pleasure and duty which makes up our life is the crux around which the poem revolves. Through this poem, Robert Frost directly speaks to all of us stuck in a similar situation in our lives and sympathizes with us through his narrator who is going through a similar dilemma. Frost assures us that if we feel like we are losing out on the small pleasures of life because of our sense of duty and responsibilities, we are not alone and there are many like us. The poet seems to be telling us that it is all right if certain moments of joy and beauty are slipping out of our hands because in life duties and responsibilities should always come first. There will always be time to relax and enjoy once we are done with a fair share of work. Relaxation and indulgences will seem much better then because we will not have the guilt of wasting time staining our enjoyment. Hence, it can be said that through his narrator, Robert Frost offers encouragement to the ones who are in the dog years of their life. It is lovely to notice how such an important philosophy of life is being imparted by the poem through the use of very simple words and a very simple situation. The brevity of the poem indeed belies its profundity.

Although Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening cannot be classified under Nature Poetry, it abounds in wonderful Nature Imagery. The poem offers a beautiful pen-picture of snow-filled woods that look nothing short of breath-taking on a lovely winter night. These woods are so enchanting that they have the power to lull a person’s sense of duty temporarily and make him stop work in order to bask in the beauty of Nature.

Another interpretation of the poem could be that the speaker is towards the end of his life – “the darkest evening of the year”. Winter is usually associated with death. Hence, at this juncture of his life, the speaker wants to make his life productive with a last burst of activity instead of giving in to the quietness and serenity which old age is usually associated with. The speaker is tempted to just let go of work and enjoy life. However, he reminds himself just in time that he must not listen to his desire to rest since rest is all he will get after death. He ends the poem with the recurring thought that he still has a lot to accomplish in life,

 

WINTER

It was winter I was sitting outside

sipping  my milk as I sighed

reading the newspaper headlines, country’s at war again it read

Frustrated I put the newspaper aside

Then came tipper tapper of feet

a crash and he was lapping milk happily

as I saw him look at me

I reached out and stroked him lovingly

he dragged me away from reality,

and we played that day endlessly

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

EXPLANATION

The poem shows a beautiful bonding between a dog and its owner. The poet expresses distress when she comes across the various happenings around the world and how she feels sad about it. At that moment her pet dog comes around wagging his tails and comforting her with his presence. This poem is an exact representation of the poet’s relationship with her dog. We sometimes crave human interaction so much that we sometimes are ignorant towards those innocent creatures that are adept at easing our worries and keeping us company. The poem’s main focus is on the web of problems created by humankind which humans aren’t adept at handling themselves. For some peace and quiet, they revert to harmful means. We are easily dissatisfied with the true facts and reality that it takes a toll on our body itself. Man creates problems for himself but alas cannot find the necessary solutions. This isn’t the case with animals. Animals create their own harmony and cohabit with each other. Where necessary they get involved otherwise they look for peaceful coexistence.

The background of the poem is set upon a lonely winter morning where the poet is reading the daily newspaper which ultimately leads to misery and distress which the poet wants to avoid. The daily happenings are recurrent and loathsome as they portray that the countries are at war again. Troublesome cases and horrible scenarios swirl in her mind with images of bloodshed and terror spreading over countries like the plague. Out of frustration she puts the newspaper aside and tries to cool her heated mind. The line ‘ tipper tapper of feet’ is of particular relevance to the poet as it means the arrival of her pet dog whom she adores. As any mischievous pet would do, so he also spills milk so as to get a taste and that makes the poet smile while alleviating her of her distress. The arrival of her pet dog signifies that she became engaged with him to forget all about the present reality. For her, it was enough to enter her wonderland and like Alice get lost in it with her dog and forget momentarily about her worries and dwell deep into a fantasy-like or dream-like state. This poem is a perfect representation of animal lovers and their little fantasy-like world in which they engage to escape reality and its harsh circumstances. This is true for every animal lover as the poet being a dog lover herself experiences utmost happiness and pleasure when she spends time with her beloved pet without any worries.

MELANCHOLIC MEMORY

The silhouettes of my dreams

your lingering presence, a faint smell of ecstasy

an enigmatic memory, a nagging remembrance

your honeyed words and scented presence, my thoughts still reek of

your disheartening essence

My body yearns for your sweet gentle caresses

but my mind has grown weary of your wicked ways

Of your abhorrent reassurances and unfaithful eyes

my heart has crumpled from so many scars

creating an endless, endless abyss

Those moth-eaten letters mean nothing to me, because you still live,

in the chasm of  my memory

losing all sense of humanity and bonding with ingenuity

You lost me the day you dashed, making a run for the sun dipped skyline

your melancholic memory now a mere distress

and thoughts filled with the agony that now I must let rest

For now, I know you no more to remember you

As my mother

ANALYSIS 

The poem is set on a somber note where the poet is remembering her mother and at the same time berates her for abandoning her. At a very early age, the poet’s mother leaves her and now only some essence of her is left in her memory. Although the memory is of happier times, of her mother’s sweet presence, of her honeyed voice, it is still painful for the poet to remember all of this. The poet is having conflicting thoughts, whether she should hold on to her memories of her mother or let go as it is still crystal and still painful for her. The letters that her mother left her now means nothing to her as it is a reminder to her that she is not coming back. Because she was deceived by her mother and her unfaithful reassurance, that she doesn’t believe her anymore. This poem shows the thin bond shared by a mother and her daughter and how abandonment caused such great pain and scarred the poet lasting a lifetime. Repetition is used to emphasize each memory and the mood of the poet in the present as she is recounting her old memories. At first, the poet could not come to terms with the fact that her mother had left her and so she was always in a state of restlessness and anxiety, always waiting for her return but when she slowly started to grow up and started accepting the fact that her mother was to coming back, those melancholic memory change to distressing ones and now the word mother brings a bad taste to her mouth as it opens up fresh wounds. The poem is set on a beautiful yet sad background as the memories are beautiful yet a painful remembrance. The poet has personified the pages of the letters that the mother used to send to the poet. Like forgetting a painful past, the poet must also let go of any love left for her mother that she still holds and must not dwell on her past. The concluding lines of the poem shows how the poet is coping up with the after-effects of finally forgetting her mother.