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Reluctance by Robert Frost


"Reluctance" is a poem written by Robert Frost. The first three stanzas of the poem give the impression that this is a simple poem about nature. However, upon further reading the reader finds that the poem is, in fact, about lost love. The snow is symbolic of the man's pain and suffering. The leaves are symbolic of hope. This is one of the many poems of Frost's that use nature in this way.

This poem is written in four stanzas with six lines in each. It is rhymed as ABCBDB.



Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one 
And let them go scraping and creeping 
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question "Whither?"

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things, 
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Next: The Road Not Taken
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Nature, Relationship, Snow, Lost Love, Sadness, Pain

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