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Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

In "Nothing Gold Can Stay," writer Robert Frost takes the reader through a seemingly pessimistic tour through life, using nature as a metaphor. Published in 1923, this poem reflects the change and transition that all life forms experience. Through its theme and symbolism, as well as figurative language, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" echoes the state of a country that matured from its infancy into a modern nation though industrialization, urbanization, and even immigration.

The poem's theme can be seen as change and transformation, maturing, or even the inevitability of death. In the opening line, Frost applies symbolism in referring to the first green, in which first implies young, and gold means pure. He then refers to the beginning of a leaf's life as a flower, which is widely accepted as beautiful or even delicate. As the poem progresses though, the delicate and beautiful flower's life is revealed to be short, and is replaced by a leaf, which is certain degradation in both appearance and value. During this period, America lost its innocence in World War I, and ascended to world power following the Second World War, while continuing its dramatic change in demographics through immigration.

Frost cunningly uses figurative language throughout the poem, which serves as the potential for optimism through careful reading. Alliteration in the second line is used to describe how pure and short lived the young and golden period in life is. The allusion to Eden implies the inevitable. In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve did not progress to their fall from Eden; instead it was derived from a series of decisions in spite of God's direction, but still within his overall plan for mankind. With the analogy of dawn goes down to day, Frost indicates the end of a golden sunrise, but did not use a transition of day to night. Frost's use of day implies that there is still opportunity! The conflict of the inevitable is represented by that same line, implying that time is moving, and we are all on borrowed time. The connotation of gold is pure, the use of nature as a metaphor, and the imagery of nature give light and color to the poem, and support in its relation to life's cycle. While nothing lasts forever, one must cherish the time that he does have. Frost ends the poem with the poem's title, which signals that the life's cycle is repeating, a certainly optimistic view.

The rhyme scheme for "Nothing Gold Can Stay" is aabbccdd.

Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay" circles life from start to finish, reflecting the change that a life cycles through. For an individual, one must appreciate his golden time, as it will not last forever. At the time of the poem's publishing, America itself



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