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Nothing Gold Can Stay

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by

Samantha Sherlock

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay Robert Frost Structure Diction Imagery Summary Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. Rhyme Scheme Punctuation aa bb cc dd * rhyme scheme splits the poem into four couplets
* the brevity of each couplet reflects the theme of the poem: that no matter how nice something is, it cannot stay for long. The rhyme of the two lines sounds nice but it quickly transitions into a new rhyme. Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. There is consistent and distinct punctuation
at the end of every line. This provides a solid
structure for the poem and in addition helps
to establish the theme of the poem: that
everything must end. Every line has a distinct
ending with a period, semicolon, or comma. Simple/Short Personification Allusion Sad Nature Time "Nature's first green is gold" (1). "Her only leaf's a flower" (3). "Then leaf subsides to leaf" (5). "But only so an hour (4). "So dawn goes down to day" (7). "Nothing gold can stay" (8). Every word in this poem is short and concise.
There is no complex words or complex meanings
to any of the words. Frost hopes to communicate the brevity of anything "golden" through the brevity of his diction. "So Eden sank to grief" (6). "Her hardest hue to hold" (2). "So dawn goes down to day" (7). Frost uses hopeless, sad, and depressing
diction to stress the certainty of something good
coming to an end. Nature is personified throughout the entire poem. Through this personification, Frost is informing the reader that the message in this poem has not only a literal meaning that applies to nature, but a symbolic meaning that applies to humanity. "So Eden sank to grief" (6). Frost references the Garden of Eden in line 6.
The Garden of Eden was something that had exceptional beauty and goodness; however, it came to an end due to human imperfection. Through this allusion, Frost provides the reader with an example of how anything good can be brief and come to an end. Through nature imagery, Frost is
creating a tangible picture in the reader's mind.
For example, the reader can imagine the beauty of the plants that begin as gold buds but soon turn to green leaves. Through time imagery, Frost communicates
the brevity that is found in nature. He stresses how
beauty can fade within a short time. Paradox "Nature's first green is gold" (1). "Her early leaf's a flower" (3). How can something so good come to an end? The idea of a good thing ending is a paradox in itself. Therefore, Frost inputs paradoxes in his poem to illuminate this idea. How can something green start as gold? How can a leaf be a flower? Some things, in this case things that happen in nature, cannot be explained. The same goes any ephemeral instance in life. What is Gold? valuable beautiful desirable strong metal vibrant rare This poem is simple yet very meaningful and realistic. There are many things in life that are truly beautiful and "golden." However, realistically they cannot last forever or even for long at all. Just as the flowers in the spring quickly turn to green leaves, or the golden dawn turns to day, the most beautiful things in life can quickly change. Therefore, those moments need to be recognized and appreciated fully when they are happening. "Poetry should be great & unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself but with its subject“ (Keats). Keats' quote here really describes Frost's poem. Though it is a simple poem with virtually no complexity, the subject Frost writes about is indeed very complex and confusing. Frost does not attempt to pry into the reader's mind and intrude on their thoughts, he is simply presenting a truth of life. The structure and words in his poem are not extravagant or attention-getting; however, the subject of the poem is something every person can relate to and every person can think about. This is why this poem is great.
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