Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm a great believer in the Socratic method of teaching - which means I won't write your lesson plan for you but rather will suggest some questions for you to consider in putting together your own lesson.
1) Who do you think the speaker is referring to when he uses the pronoun, "he?"
2) There is some tension in the poem about whether the speaker should stay or move on. What is it that tempts this person to stay?
3) Which night is this poem referring to? Is it a night in November? December? January? February? (Hint: "darkest evening of the year.")
4) Why do you think Mr. Frost repeated the lines, "And miles before I go to sleep?" Does he mean this literally? Is it a metaphor or could it mean something else?
In terms of presenting this poem, why not wear a winter coat, scarf, and hat? If you have a sleigh bell, you could give the bell a shake at the appropriate line in the poem. You could also shake it at the end of the poem and taper off the sound as though the rider is receding into the distance.