Give a short summary of the poem Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening by Robert frost.
For a line by line analysis of the poem visit our main article link: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening: Summary and Analysis. But if you need only a short summary, here we go.
The speaker is travelling on his horse through the lonely woods. This time he stops there to enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered woods. He was assured that the owner of the woods won’t see him, as his house is in the village far from there.
His little horse finds it strange to stop there between the woods and a frozen lake, without a farmhouse near. So he (the horse) gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there has been a mistake. The only other sounds in that tranquil evening were the sounds of the easy wind and the falling snow.
The woods were dark and deep, and our speaker found it ‘lovely’. He wanted to stay there longer, but could not do so. He had promises to keep and a long way to go before sleep. So he goes away.
Our life is like a traveler on a journey. There may be many attractions in our life. They sometimes disturb our life journey but until the final destination we need to go on fulfilling our responsibilities and duties. We should not be overwhelmed by worldly pleasures and attractions, which are not real. We need to move forward until we reach our destination.
The writer of the poem is traveling in the dark through the snow and pauses with his horse near the woods by a neighbor’s house to observe the snow falling around him.
The writer continues to pause near the woods, attracted by the deep, dark silence of his surroundings. He wants to enjoy the beauty of nature in that deep dark night but his duties towards his life forced him to move ahead. He feels compelled to move ahead into the snowy woods, but he ultimately decides to continue his journey.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Once the speaker was on his journey (to his destination) through a deep dark forest. The woods owner, whom the speaker knew very well, used to live in a nearby village. But the speaker wasn’t going to meet the owner.
It was the darkest and windy evening of the year with a snow fall. Even the lake there was frozen in extreme cold. The speaker was captivated by the beauty of the woods and the snowfall. He stopped his horse to enjoy the beauty of the place.
But his horse thought it to be quite strange to stop in the cold, dark, lonely woods even without a farmhouse to stay there at night. He gave a shake to his harness bells to warn his master that it was a mistake on his part to stop there forgetting his aim and destination.
At this, the speaker realized his mistake. It was a foolishness on his part to stop and waste time there. He was reminded that despite the loveliness of the woods, he had promises to keep. And, he resumed his journey.
Thus the poem gives the message that we should not forget our duties and responsibilities in spite of numerous allurements that come before us.