Modern but his. Poets and writers not

Modern anxieties.


American Literature.

Ivonne Vela.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 10 percent of the American population, suffer of anxiety disorders. One of the most famous writers with anxiety disorders (or that is how it looks) was Robert Frost. It must be clear that he didn’t have any disorder, but his poems may tell the opposite. Because his style was free verse, he wrote poems about an ordinary life of a man o woman but his. Poets and writers not always write about their emotions or feelings, but people think authors do that.

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California in 1874. He started to write when he was 20 years old. His first poem was ”My Butterfly: an Elegy” which talks about a love that was not possible. Since then, he became very famous in America. His poems are written with common characters, any background and with an imagery drawn of the situation. The language in which his poems are written is simple and rustic. Furthermore, many of his poems talk about nature, such as “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” or “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. But this document is not about nature.

Frost’s themes are not only about nature or love, he also wrote poems about indecisiveness. Let’s analyze some of them. For example, one of his most famous poems about this theme is “The Road Not Taken”. I have to say that, Frost’s poems are kind of difficult to understand, but once you start to think deeper it is easier to get the theme. This poem starts talking about two roads. The narrator says that is one road better than the other, yet he decided to take the ugly one. Why is this an indecision? The answer is obvious. He did not make a good choice, because do not know how to.
I believe that everyone has been in this situation. People almost all the time have two options for everything they want or need to do. It is always up to them which one are going to choose. For instance, the narrator said that he took the wrong road but not because he wanted to. It was because he was indecisive and took the first road he saw. It did not matter if the road was pretty or ugly. The narrator believes his choice will take him to other paths and that he could not return to experience the other path. At this point it is possible to say that Frost also wrote about regrets. “The Road Not Taken” is a poem that talks about choices in life, as I said, everyone has been in this situation, for they always have to make a decision at a certain point.
As well, there is another poem by Frost which talks about indecisiveness. “Stopping by Woods in a Snowy Day” relates the story of a man riding a horse on his way to some place through the woods while is snowing. He decided to stop for a moment in the woods just to appreciate the snow falling on them. But his thoughts were interrupt because his horse bells started to shake. Then, he started to get anxious because, there was not a farmhouse nearby on “the darkest evening of the year” and here becomes the indecision. The narrator did not know if to stay was a good idea or it would be better to continue with his way. So, he decided the second one.

“Stopping by Woods in a Snowy Day” is the universal poem for indecisive people. At first sight, it looks like the narrator only sees the beauty of the snow filling up the woods which is a very pleasant image. But it is not like that at all, the narrator has been riding a horse for miles and the miles to go. He was wondering if to stay in the woods would be a good idea, yet he did not stay. He did not stay because he made promises that has to keep. Specifically, I really like this poem. I see myself exactly as the narrator. I will think for a while doing something or not, but at the end I just do what I have to do. It does not matter if is a promise or homework but still having that indecision and the doubt if I am doing the right thing.

Frost was recognized as a poet close to nature. His poems are reflective because the reader does not know anything about the character of the poem. So, Frost makes the reader to think about what he wrote. About the history, the meaning and the message of the poem. Even though he is related to melancholy, he is related to it on a personal level. He once said: “Every poem I write is figurative in two senses. It will have figures in itself- a figure for something, and it is made so that you can get more than one figure out of it”. Frost uses metaphors in his poems just to let people wonder or guess of what he is talking about.
I would like to mention another American poet. Thomas Eliot was born in London, England in 1965. He was the leader of the Modernist movement in poetry. He moved to The United States and was claimed as an American Citizen. His first famous work is “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” wrote in 1915 which also talks about indecision. The narrator of this poem is talking about time. There will be time to drink another cup of coffee and eat toasts. There will be time to learn another language. There will be time to pay the bills. However, this poem is about decisions. How is related time to decisions? They are related in every way. If people do not decide on time, there will be consequences or regrets. The narrator always mentions time, for his own decisions and regrets.

I am sure, this poem describes people all over the world. I believe in that, because people are sure the time is infinite but they. People think that life is insure and do not take decisions with seriousness. That is what this poem is trying to say. In the poem, the narrator also is looking for time to ask how other will see him because of his decisions. He is living in a constant state of uncertainty. Will he be enough for the society? I am also sure that everybody at some point of their lives, they have asked this question.
I cannot say that both authors, Frost and Eliot have the same style and rhythm even tone. Frost was influenced by romanticism and nature while Eliot was inspired by modernism and social adaptation. These authors were famous because they were not afraid of write what they thought. They did not care about critics, they were just they and that was perfectly good for them. It does not matter what people think about you but being one with nature and learn how to make good decisions for yourself.

T.S. Eliot was inspirited by culture, historical periods (WWI) and religions. He was an aesthetic poet but is considered an innovator in poetry. His style was influenced by French romanticism. Writing in free verse, multiple characters in one poem, and a nonlinear style, made Eliot famous, without mention his careless about critics. Eliot is an excellent example of innovation in poetry, inspirited in literature meanwhile Frost is an innovator inspirited by people surrounding near him.
Frost as Eliot was part of the modernist poetry movement but not as important. He did not lead that movement but Eliot. This movement is remembered because was a great change for America. American citizens started to think by their own thoughts. They started to be themselves. They started to think, act and live in new ways. Both authors were going through different stages in their lives and were having different problems when they wrote these poems.

In my opinion, both authors are difficult to analyze. I really like both styles one more than other but that does not mean that one is better than the other one. I feel identified with the three poems because I am an indecisive person but at the end of the time, I always make a good decision for me. Still, sometimes I regret about them, but people learn from errors and they have to be aware that error are part of life.


The Editor of Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Retrieved from: HYPERLINK “”
Eliot, T.S. (1915). The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Retrieved from:, R. (1922). Stopping by Woods in a Snowy Day. Retrieved from:, R. (1916) The Road Not Taken. Retrieved from: