American poet Robert Frost first published the poem Desert Places in 1936. The poem follows a rhyming scheme of “aaba” over four stanzas, for a total of 16 lines. The poem explores the concepts of loneliness and the tie between man and nature. Desert Places is written from the first-person perspective.
The poem opens with the main character passing an empty field during a snowy evening. The field is surrounded by woods. He sees “loneliness” in the field where a few “weeds and stubble” peak out from the layer of snow on the ground. The animals are deep in their lairs. A picture of the nature scene has been thoroughly described.
Throughout the poem, Frost uses the word “loneliness” and complements the word with “empty” and “deserted”. He explains in the third stanza that the loneliness of the natural landscape is intensified by the blankness of the snow in the field; the snow has “no expression, nothing to express.”
In the third stanza, Frost looks up to the emptiness of the sky. There are “empty spaces between stars.” He explains that “they” cannot scare him; the reader must speculate to whom he refers. Perhaps “they” are astronauts as he is discussing stars in the sky. He is not scared as closer to “home” he has his own emptiness. He has his own “desert places” that scare him more than the empty field and stars ever could.
Desert Places explores the concepts of emptiness and loneliness. The deserted mood refers to both the physical appearance of the snow-covered field and to his feelings about himself. He feels emptiness inside. Frost describes seeing “weeds and stubble” in the field. The field has a man-made purpose and implies that humans also have a reason for being. The weeds represent deadness, which is how the narrator feels inside.
A black and white contrast is created by the vision of the snow-covered field at night. The perspective seems so simple yet draws the narrator to reflect on his own self and the feeling of loneliness. One message here is that a lot of detail is not needed to catch someone’s attention and cause a person to self-reflect.
A second analysis is that people draw conclusions from the world around them to help them understand theirselves. The field is being viewed as empty as that is the way he feels inside; he sees what is relatable to him given his current emotional state.
Robert Frost explains man in terms of nature within the poem “Desert Places”. He draws conclusions on a man’s feelings through descriptions of the empty field covered in snow. The rhyming scheme keeps a flow to the poem which, although not very long, contains many images. Robert Frost lived from 1874 to 1963. He wrote several collections of poems.