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"Mowing" Robert Frost
Transcript of "Mowing" Robert Frost
In this poem, Robert Frost portrays how a hard working man in the fields hears his scythe whisper to the ground. Although the man could not make out the words whispered, he still thinks he heard the scythe whisper . As the poem progresses, the working man realizes that with hard work great rewards can come and he forgets the idea of the scythe whispering.
Problem and Solution
Problem: The scythe's whispering is inaudible to the speaker.
Solution: Realizes how unimportant the whispers are and decides to focus on honest work.
The age and gender of the speaker is undetermined, but he/she must be old enough to handle a scythe. The speaker is certain the scythe whispered words, but is uncertain what it specifically said. He/she thinks about what it could have possibly said and thinks that hearing the scythe whisper could be his imagination or just in his head because of the time he has been in the sun. In the end, he decides that it was not a dream and that it was no work of magic or enchantment and he goes back to working.
There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.
In Robert Frost's poem "Mowing", the emphasis on reality and internal fulfillment acquired from an honest day's labor is far more significant than imaginative fantasies.
The symbolism in this poem helps define
the overall purpose. The scythe, which
is a tool used for cutting crops, and it has a long curved blade at the end of a long pole attached to a handle, could be a symbol for labor, and working hard, because that it was a scythe is literally used for. Also, in a way the scythe teaches the speaker that in the end, working hard and putting in effort leads to rewards. Another way to look at the scythe is as a symbol for reality versus non-reality because when the scythe whispered the speaker thought it was his imagination, but in the end he/she puts the idea out of their mind, and continues to work.
Personification is a big literary device that is displayed through the whole poem to establish the main idea. When the speaker says "And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground" and "that was why it whispered and did not speak", this sets up the whole poem by the speaker trying to figure out what the scythe has said. Also, because the scythe is basically talking to the speaker it makes it sound like that scythe and the speaker are companions or keep each other company in the fields.
"And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground"
-Sets up problem for the poem
"Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun"
-Working in hot sun, possibly could be causing speaker so be hearing the whispering of the scythe
"Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,/Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound-" (4-5)
"And that was why it whispered and did not speak." (6)
"My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make." (14)