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Robert Frost Winter Poems

Updated on August 22, 2014

Winter Imagery

"Whose woods these are I think I know..." I found myself reciting those words (again) on a light, bright winter night when sun bounced off snowflakes and darkness didn't come. Recently, my city found itself en-swirled in a snowstorm that it was ill equipped to handle. Despite chains, the bus was beached (so to speak) north of my home; I walked for about a mile and a half, cutting through woods and getting home just about the time that my hands stiffened and grew clumsy.

We experience it less often these days -- that mixture of cold and vulnerability and frosted otherworldly beauty. If we step back in time to the early part of the 20th century, though, those things were part of people's daily lives -- and we find them reflected in the poetry.

This page is devoted to Robert Frost winter poems, many of which hark back to that era. It is designed with the teacher in mind. You'll find audio, analysis, and teaching resources. Step with me into a frosty long ago winter, or a lifetime of them...

"Dust of Snow" has been chosen as a Common Core exemplar text for students in the fourth and fifth grade band. It is a challenging text. (Can student's identify the speaker's mood? Can they speculate about what he was experiencing in the moments before the snow fluttered down from the tree?)

There are two words young students will likely not be familiar with: 'hemlock' and, more central to the meaning, 'rued'. Children will hopefully have enough context to determine that a hemlock is a kind of tree -- and be able to infer that rued is something negative. If one needs something to save a day they've rued, that word must signify something negative indeed!

There are Common Core lesson plans available for Frost's "Dust of Snow" and Sandburg's "Frost" (two poems that can be effectively paired together).

If you scroll down to additional resources, you'll find a link to an additional lesson plan written at the elementary level.

text and additional resources

Listen!

Poems can be interpreted in such different ways; I may take the minority view on this one. I first read "Wind and Window Flower" as almost literal -- a bit of "horticultural melodrama" I termed it. I have since seen interpretations that have the wind and window flower standing for human lovers.

I keep coming back to my original read, though, of a playful, personified look at the winter season. Part of the reason is the general tone of the poem: melodramatic but playful. Another is the opening lines, "Lovers, forget your love, and list to the love of these..." If it was about a boy and a girl from different walks of life, why should we forget our own loves to listen, awe-struck, to the tale? That tale is already around us everywhere, in pop culture as well as life. Indeed, many readers will recognize elements of the tale in their own life. But a tale of love between, literally, a wind and a flower? Now that is different, and might indeed our rivet attention if we will suspend for a moment our disbelief...

But What Do You Think?

Is "Wind and Window Flower" about human lovers, or nature?

It's about lovelorn humans.

It's about lovelorn humans.

Submit a Comment

  • Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

    In my opinion, definitely about human lovers.

  • anonymous 4 years ago

    a love left...a hundred miles away.

  • KevinGeetar 4 years ago

    I see a wild, free spirit of a person who is attracted to another who cannot let go of the things that hold them back and be free.....remaining in the pot behind a pane of glass. Perhaps wishing they could go with the breeze, but are unable to. Lovely poem, Frost has been part of life for decades.

  • zeyty01 5 years ago

    Two human lovers who are bound to only see each other once. They then dream quickly about a life together, forget the matter, and move on to other things.

  • Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

    I like to think it is about human lovers

  • BuddyBink 5 years ago

    It is about two lovers

  • beerhead 6 years ago

    Hard to say but I think it's more about love.

  • jillian22 6 years ago

    Favorite memory is: Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference - Wonderful!!

It's about the wind, and a flower.

Submit a Comment

  • Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 5 years ago from southwestern Virginia

    It's a little bit of both...the wind playing with the flower; the human lover playing (toying) with his lover before leaving her. It is definitely a challenge and a bit of fun to see things from both sides.

  • IanMayfield 5 years ago

    Sort of both. Unrequited human love is a metaphor for the natural interaction between a flower separated from the natural elements by an artificial barrier. Or the other way round!

  • Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

    I'm sure that it could be taken either way. I like to think that it is the way the wind plays a part in spreading the scent and seeds of flowers.

  • kimmanleyort 6 years ago

    Why not love between the wind and window flower. I love the idea.

Now Close the Windows

Now close the windows

And hush all the fields...

This is a poem about hunkering down for the winter. We get a sense of the bleakness of winter, but also a hint of the more comfortable winter that can be found inside. In the closing lines, the narrator suggests looking out the window at that wind-tossed world.

Like most of the poems on this page, it is set to pictures of Seattle. It can be fun to add your own spin to poems... and your own photos to make a truly personalized rendition.

Birches

"Birches" is a narrative poem that seems to draw from childhood memory.

Listen!

When I see birches bend to the left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy's been swinging them...

Birches (Musical Version)

A lot of Robert Frost's poems have been set to music. What do you think of this version of "Birches"?

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening - Audio and Text

This was one of the first poems I recorded, and there is an effect that was accidental, but that I rather like. The poem was recorded directly into the netbook microphone as opposed to the Logitech set. I might have chosen to re-record it had it not somehow seemed to capture the voice quality of a windy winter night.

Stopping by Woods Printable

Stopping By Woods (Child Reciting)

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a good first piece for a child. It was the first poem I ever recited, at seven. Here we find another child about that age reciting.

Poetry Out Loud: Robert Frost

Poetry Out Loud holds a poetry contest for ninth through twelfth graders. Students must recite works from the anthology. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is among the selections.

When shoeing home across the white,

I thought I saw a bird alight...

Looking for a Sunset Bird in Winter is as much about what the narrator doesn't see as what he does. The opening lines give us a dismal, if slightly humorous, portrait of winter. Frost builds up the sense of wonder at this supposed bird and allows up to feel a bit of that disappointment that, no, it's not a bird after all. It appears that Frost is not just looking for, but longing for, that bird. All in all, it's a clever -- and indirect -- expression of Frost's attitude toward the seasons.

A Robert Frost Christmas

Robert Frost's famous poem "Christmas Trees" was originally sent out as a letter. It is a cleverly written account of Frost's encounter with a businessman who wants to buy his expanse of trees for a paltry sum. Frost captures the outrageousness of the offer with lines like "worth three cents more to give away than to sell".

Robert Frost wasn't completely against the cutting down of a tree, though, to spread some Christmas cheer. "Christmas Trees" has some harsh criticism of aspects of our society, but it ends on a gentle note -- with the wish that he could send one tree in his letter.

"Christmas Trees" was made into a limited edition chapbook/ card.

The Robert Frost Christmas Card Tradition

"Christmas Trees" was the first. A number of other Frost poems were turned into limited edition Christmas cards. Collections exist, and you do also find individual cards for sale -- but signed ones have gotten expensive.

Thoughts to Share?

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    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      I love his poetry and really enjoyed this lens. You really got me thinking back to meanings with this.

    • KevinGeetar profile image

      KevinGeetar 4 years ago

      Thank you, lovely lens.....Kev

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      i like the Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      Nicely done. Blessings!

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a lovely Lense, I really like the child's recital.... and his ending "can I watch the movie?"

    • MrsPotts profile image

      MrsPotts 5 years ago

      I love Robert Frost poetry. Reading these winter poems makes me wish for a little snow and the time to enjoy the hush it brings on the world. Thank you for sharing Robert Frost, your lovely pictures and eloquent words. Great lens!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      Lovely...linking this in my moon poems lens

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      josephpowell519 5 years ago

      Great lens, i really enjoyed it and i'll definitely recommend.

      I think you'll appreciate the poems on my page.

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      nikyweber 5 years ago

      Amazing lens! squidlikes!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Lovely. Frost's poems are sweet.

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      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Thank you for this beautiful lens.

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 5 years ago

      He lived in Bennington Vermont. You can see his home and grave here. (where I work). I have always loved "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." I have stopped by woods that might have been his inspiration ... :O)

      Nice Lens

    • Image Girl profile image

      Image Girl 5 years ago

      Oh how lovely! So nice to read this beside a frosty window while I stay trucked and warm.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      What a beautiful collection of poems you've gathered. I wasn't aware he had so many winter themed poems, but then my favorite Frost poem is "Nothing Gold Can Stay." It was released at the same time as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," which is my favorite here and he did get the Pulitzer that year. The man knew how to use personification to the fullest extent.

      Well done and definitely worthy of a Flyby Winging from me! ~Ren

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      dellgirl 5 years ago

      I love your lens, itâs very unique. I Superliked it! Congratulations on making featured lenses on Popular Pages.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 5 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      What a wonderful lens! You've woven together so many different ways of enjoying poetry into a small space. I've learned a lot about how to ejoy poetry. Robert Frost is one of my favorites :+)

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      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      What a wonderful lens! I was on vacation in New England last fall, right at the changing of the leaves at the end of summer, and got to sit on Robert Frost's front porch and look down his side of the hill toward other peaks of the White Mountains. After seeing that view, these poems take on new dimensions.

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      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      Love Robert Frost. One of my favorite poets.

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      entertainmentev 5 years ago

      Robert Frost has been one of my favorite poets. I still remember reading my first Robert Frost poem in grade school. Such a classic!

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      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      Love the poetry and your recitals, and the video of birches. I will have to return to listen and watch again. Thanks for an excellent lens.

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is wonderful. I love Robert Frost's poems and you have just the right voice for reciting them. I remember memorizing some of them as a child.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Nicely done, no snow in Va Beach this evening. That's the only thing that could add to it. Loved the pics.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent work and style of your presentation is very organized, love it !

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Great poetry. Beautiful pictures.

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      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This page about Robert Frost is delightful.

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

      Very Nice. I love the poem 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening', it is one I remember from elementary school. Thanks

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice Lens.

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      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I like the first poem. There's something haunting and isolating about snow and winter. At the same time, the peace that comes with it and natural beauty can make one appreciate life more.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Lovely! I grew up reading Frost and studied his work extensively in college. I have always loved "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and know it by heart. "Good fences make good neighbors..." "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . . and I, I took the one less travelled by." Such good stuff!

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      purpleclouds 5 years ago

      I remember my final exam in high school, I had to read Whose woods this are I think I know... it brings soo many good memories of high school.. Thanks for sharing :)

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      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens and tribute to an amazing poet.

    • AllPurposePapoon profile image

      AllPurposePapoon 5 years ago

      Great mood setting lense. I Love it!

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 5 years ago

      Nice Lens...Robert Frost is a favorite of mine!

    • Nimsrules LM profile image

      Nirmal Shah 5 years ago from India

      I've always loved poetry by Robert Frost, in fact even more than Shakespeare. Thank you so much for making this lens. I think you should have included 'Fire and Ice'. Nevertheless great lens...

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      I love Robert Frost's poems! Nice lens!

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      shoefiend 5 years ago

      great lens i loved it

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just saw this on the front page and am a fan of Robert Frost's poetry.

      This is so refreshing ... and is blessed!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      I love this rich and varied lens. I've added it to my lens about frost in general, with a mention of Frost in particular! many thanks. Blessed

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have chosen this lens to be featured on the Squidoo Home Pages for the week of Jan. 16/12. Congratulations. Blessed.

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      Ruthi 5 years ago

      Can I watch the movie? Bravo on the boy's recital! Such an enjoyable presentation of Frost poetry. Your voice to verse makes this a wonderful winter wonderland. Blessed.

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      iPadGeek 5 years ago

      The Woods are Lovely - is easily my all-time inspirational poem. Thanks for making a lens about Frost. Much appreciated :)

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      oxfordian 5 years ago

      I just have to say, that little boy reciting the poem is the cutest little boy I ever saw (next to my own, of course). I played it over and over. He's adoreable!

    • PTurner56 profile image

      PTurner56 5 years ago

      I like that you began this lens with words from my favorite Frost Poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". We may be kindred spirits...")

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      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Robert Frost and Winter Poems, how apropos! I used to live in Ohio where I met his brother Jack many times during the Winter. He wasn't welcome...so I moved to Arizona.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed my visit to your lens. I am enjoying Robert Frost's poetry with my teenage homeschooling son and he is going to enjoy your selections. Thanks and blessed.

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      MobyD 6 years ago

      I lived in New England most of my life, so Frost's poems resonate with me. On a much less serious note, did you know you can sing "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" to the tune of "Hernando's Hideaway"? I learned about that in "The Last Whole Earth Catalog."

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      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      Always loved Frost's poems as a kid. Nice lens.

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      glowchick 6 years ago

      I personally love Robert Frost which is why I stopped by, will definitely use lens during Poetry class with the kids.

      Thumbs Up!

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      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      Really an interesting way to explore poetry. This is a wonderfully done lens. :)

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      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      What a refreshing lens to come across in the midst of all the Christmas shopping hype. You have helped me to get ready for that first dose of snow. I love hearing the poems from your own voice. It is such a unique touch. I especially liked the wind and windflower poem, which I had not heard before. Lensrolled to Winter Photography and blessed.