First Post. “Design”

When looking at Robert Frost’s poem, “Design,” the confusion I have between form and structure is greatly increased. I still have yet to draw a line between form and structure, and in this poem they almost seem synonymous. There is description in the first stanza of this poem and a mediation in the second stanza. These two things make this poem follow the emblem structure very well.

The first stanza of the poem has numerous metaphors while there are less in the second stanza. A white heal all is like a piece of white rigid satin cloth and death and blight are like the ingredients of a witches broth. There is also a description of dead wings being like a kite in the way they are carried by the spider like a paper kite. This is much like the way a child would carry a paper kite. The extra length of the first stanza helps create a rhyme scheme while allowing for more description. The second stanza is set up for mediation and thus does not need the extra length for description.

In the second stanza there is mediation. The first stanza already set up the descriptions and the second stanza begins a more questioning tone. Although there is a questioning tone in this stanza, Frost doesn’t answer the questions in the final stanza, he leaves this up to the reader. Even though the questions remained unanswered there is still a sense of completion that comes with the poem. There are some things left unsaid, but the porm comes full circle in the end.

The tuen occurs when Frost leaves the desctiptive sentences aside and starts questioning. I think that it is effective because it is rather blatant. There is a definite shift in the tone and the entire poem. I think that this will be useful for my poetry because I can start with more blatat turns and shifts then lead into less obvious ones.

3 Responses to “First Post. “Design””

  1. Melissa Goodrich Says:

    The form in this piece would be the rhyme scheme (ABBA, ABBA, ABAABB) – and is a pawn for structure, which is the turning (in this case) from description to meditation. I think that the two are so related in Frost’s poem is a sign of cooperation between the elements (in other words, you’re doing it right when you can hardly tell them apart). I believe form is intended to serve structure. For instance, would a change in focus (sight to insight) have been made stronger if the rhyme scheme were maintained, or does the shift alert the reader that something new is happening?

  2. I was drawn to the shift that Frost provided too. It was completely unexpected to me because here he is talking about a small animal like a spider and he opens up into this complex and much debated idea of intelligent design. It’s great too, how Frost the reader up for what comes in the final stanza but we don’t really recognize it until we read the last stanza and go backwards. I also liked how obvious he made the turn and think it was a lot easier to identify in comparison to The Chambered Nautilus. I think that really speaks to the idea that in more modern poetry, structures are much more easily changed than they were when poetry was really emerging .

  3. While I feel like I have a relatively good grasp on structure, or, at least, the concept of it, I agree that Frost did not help clear up the difference between structure and form. However, like Mellisa said, Frost understands how to balance the different parts of the poem efficiently. The form mirrors the structure just as much as the as the content does. Frost is able to utilize every part of the poem to show us the structure.

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