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Design by Robert Frost


"Design" is a poem written by Robert Frost. This poem is simply a question of why certain things happen. Why did the spider feel the need to climb up the flower and put his web on it? Well, obviously, the answer is that it's a great spot to catch prey. However, to Frost, it's a way to ask people why do we do certain things?

This poem is made up of two stanzas. The first stanza consists of the rhyme scheme ABBAABBA. The second stanza is ACAACC. This is an Italian Sonnet.



I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth--
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth--
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.

Next: Dust of Snow
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Nature, Uncertainty

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