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A Brook in the City

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Abigail Cox

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of A Brook in the City

Born: 1874
Died: 1963
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco but moved to Massachusetts at the age of 11 and that is where he drew much of his inspiration. He attended both Dartmouth and Harvard but never received a degree. He met his wife, Elinor, in high school and got married to her when he was at Harvard. His first book published was called A Boy's Will and was a collection of poems. He won 4 Pulitzer Prizes and and had the honor of reading a poem at President Kennedy's inauguration.
Robert Frost
First and Last Lines
First line:
"The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square with the new city street it has to wear"
Sets up what the poem is about
Talks about something old (farmhouse) lingering in something new (the city)
Poem overall is about the old brook being taken over by new buildings
Personification "farmhouse lingers"
Last line:
"The thoughts may not have risen that so keep this new-built city from both work and sleep."
Closing with a reflective question - what would the people in the city do if they knew what they had done to the nature?
The city was built from work and sleep
Imagery
"From growing under pavements of a town; the apple trees be sent to heath-stone flame" (lines 10-11)
Describing how the apple trees have lost their identity and instead become a strong wooden house
Hallmarks
Abigail Cox and Emma Sweitzer
A Brook in the City
Works Cited
Literal and Figurative Meaning

Literal
A brook was built in nature, but with rapid changes in industrialization, a city was built on top of it
Now the brooks and other parts of nature flow through the sewer system of the city and have very little worth
"The meadow grass could be cemented down From growing under pavements of a town" Line 9-10
Unknown narrator explains his past encounter with the brooks and expresses his sorrow
The times are changing and the nature is being destroyed to make room for new cities and industrialization
The new generation does not value nature the way the older generation used to
"The brook was thrown deep in a sewer dungeon under stone" Line 15-16
While nature is still prevalent, the new aims of industry become more important than preserving nature
Figurative
Persona
An older man that is experiencing the changes that are coming with the new generation
He knows the brook because he used to play in it
"having dipped a finger length" Line 6
"Having tossed a flower to try its currents where they crossed" Line 7-7
Sad tone because the nature he used to know is being destroyed
"How else disposed of an immortal force No longer needed?" Line 13-14
Literary Elements
Personification
Alliteration
Brings life to the nature in the poem
"The farmhouse lingers" Line 1
Outside of the new city
"But what about the brook that held the house as in an elbow crook?" Line 3-4
"With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown deep in a sewer dungeon under stone" Line 14-15
Subject Matter
Nature
Used as a background
"I am not a nature poet. There is almost always a person in my poems."
New England
Industrial Revolution - rapid building of cities (New York)
Themes
Retreat not Escape
Things and values may changes, but you cannot change what is around
"The farmhouse lingers" Line 1
Relationship to fellow man
Adulthood is replacing childhood and many things are changing
Things will no longer be remembered as they once were
Line 20
Tragic sense
Nature has been destroyed
Line 15-16
Farmhouse is an indicator of what used to be there
Line 1

"It's the tone I'm in love with; that's what poetry is, tone."
- Robert Frost
"I am not a nature poet. There is almost always a person in my poems."
"I am not a nature poet. There is almost always a person in my poems."
"One who knew the brook, its strength and impulse, having dipped a finger length" (lines 5-6)
Frost is describing how the brook used to be big and strong but now is like a small drain
Helps the readers picture what he is saying

"A Brook in the City Analysis by Robert Frost." Beaming Notes. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://beamingnotes.com/2013/07/27/a-brook-in-the-city-analysis-by-robert-frost/>.
"With cinder loads
d
umped
d
own? The brook was thrown
d
eep in a sewer
d
ungeon under stone" Line 15-16
Repetition of d sound gives the sense that the brook is going deeper and deeper down beneath the city
"No longer needed?
S
taunch at it
s
ource" Line 14
The S sounds like stop and gives the sense to stop putting other things above nature

"And impulse, having dipped a finger length and made it leap my knuckle" Line 6-7
Gives the reader the image of the narrator playing in the brook before it was overrun by the city
Adds to the sad and reflective tone of the narrator
"With the brook was thrown deep in a sewer dungeon under stone" Line 15-16
Dungeon has a negative connotation
Gives the reader the image of a stream running through a dark and dirty sewer
Allows the reader to picture the destruction of nature
Structure
Medium Length
One stanza with 24 lines
The rate of destruction of the nature does not stop
Enjambment
Remembering the time he used to play in the brook - elongates the time spent thinking about it because he wants to remember it
Lines 5-8
End-stopped Lines
Makes the reader think about the brook because it will only be remembered if it was shown on a map because it can no longer be seen
Lines 19-20
Rhyme Scheme:
Couplets
"I want them all to sound different." He often says, "Listen for the tune."
Yousaf, Amer. "Analysis A Brook In The City." Slide Share. 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://www.slideshare.net/irmaratel/analysis-brook>.
"Frost's Hallmarks." Frost's Friends. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://www.frostfriends.org/tutorial-3.html>.
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