Frost Commentary: “Good-Bye and Keep Cold” Question Commentary

Alicia Wei

8. In what ways does the final line/stanza change your understanding of the poem as a whole? The meter within the poem is anapestic tetrameter. It contributes to the the final line/ stanza of the poem as a whole. This meter creates a sense of power and control the speaker has over the situation. This was also all written in couplets. The couplets along with the meter, signify the speaker attempting to maintain his emotion without showing too much grief about leaving the orchard. The tone within this couplet also addresses the final line/stanza. The speaker’s tone is one of remorse. Hi does not want to leave his orchard for another grove, but he must. This unwillingness to leave and make a connection with a new entity other than his own leads him to see the new grove as less than that of his orchard.

“This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark/ And cold to an orchard so young in the bark” (lines 1-2)

“My business a while is with different trees,/ Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these” (lines 21-22)

The final line changes the understanding of the poem as a whole because it emphasizes the sinking heart of the speaker for leaving his orchard. To him, he feels that in leaving the orchard for another, he, the heart of the orchard, is leaving. This represents the “soul” “ Its heart sinks lower under the sod./ But of the orchard leaving, or rather sinking, something has to be left to God” (lines 28-29) leaving only a caracas behind “to be left ot God” (line 29). This sinking of the soul, goes both ways. The speaker also feels a sinking of the heart, from the guilt and unwillingness to leave his orchard alone to fend against nature itself. 12. What is the significance of the persona’s characterization to the poem’s theme?

Frost Commentary: “Good-Bye and Keep Cold”

Alicia Wei

This suggests that prior to his plan to leave the orchard, further adds to the sense of “Reminds me of all that can happen to harm/ unwillingness and the theme of loosing An orchard away at the end of the farm” (lines something close. As a result of the speaker 3-4) leaving, he is now realizing the weaknesses of the orchard because he has to leave it to fend for itself. Although the cold is good for the orchard, the speaker’s role in planting the orchard on the northernly side prior to the beginning of the poem, allows the reader to wonder why the speaker planted the orchard on the north end if he was only going to worry about the effect winter would have on it. This then adds to the theme of fate. The speaker played a hand in determining the fate of the poem, in planting it on the north end in the first place. The orchard is fated to endure the harshness of the winter without it’s caretaker.

“By setting it out on a northerly slope./ No orchard’s the worse for the wintriest storm” (lines 14-15)

The theme of loosing another is prevalent throughout the poem and the theme of fate. The speaker has to leave the orchard, “I wish I could promise to lie in the night/ And seemingly against his will. This is the result of think of an orchard’s arboreal plight” (lines his unwillingness to leave. He is now thinking 25-26) of remaining with the orchard one last time, to think about it’s fate to be alone and survive the “wintriest storm” (line 15) 17. What attitude toward nature (or something else specific to the poem) is reflected in the poem? The speaker’s attitude towards the animal aspects of nature is one of weariness. The irony lies in the fact that the orchard itself is nature, in which the speaker views with fondness and tenderness, while the animal aspects of nature is viewed with distaste because they will harm the orchard itself.

“I don’t want it girdled by rabbit and mouse/ I don’t want it dreamily nibbled for browse” (lines 6-7)

Frost Commentary: “Good-Bye and Keep Cold”

Alicia Wei

“I don’t want it stirred by the heat of the sun” (line 12)

The speaker seems to be weary of all aspects of nature, except his orchard. Even here, it is prevalent that the speaker does not want any aspects of nature to disturb his orchard. Normally the sun represents hope; however, it becomes an inverted archetype to represent death. The overall negative tone the speaker has for all aspects of nature except for his orchard emphasizes the attachment the speaker has to this orchard. Once again, the speaker’s distaste for all other aspects of nature other than his orchard is once again prevalent in the way the speaker views another grove, that is theoretically similar to the orchard in essence. He views the new grove to which he will have an obligation to take care with distaste. The speaker views the new grove, or woods that he has to take care of as weak, because they are not up to the caliber of the orchard he has taken care of.

“My business a while is with different trees,/ Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these” (lines 21-22)

21. What symbols in the poem contribute to overal meaning? The orchard symbolizes old ideas of society. Just as it is when a new idea is introduced to society and the difficulty that individuals have “An orchard away at the end of the farm” (line with accepting new ideas, and the preference 4) that they have for old ideas that they are comfortable with. Similarly, the orchard represents the old way of thinking that the speaker prefers so much. The new forrest, or grove, symbolizes the entrance of new ideas into society. The distaste that the speaker has for the new grove of trees, “ My business is awhile is with different trees” is representative of the distaste and weariness (line 21) society has for the entrance of new ideas, and how they are often viewed as “less fruitful than” that of older ideas (line 22).

Frost Commentary: “Good-Bye and Keep Cold”

Alicia Wei

“By deer, and I don’t want it budded by grouse” (line8)

The animals within the poem symbolize the harshness and sporadic cause in life. The speaker’s inability to control the unknown, or what will happen to his orchard, is representative of how we are unable to control the unknown in our life. As a society that relies in the apparent order of the world, we are lulled into a false sense of security throughout our lives. Thus, when the unexpected happen and when new ideas are introduced, we are often strongly against it.