Frost’s Design

As has been previously stated, Frost’s “Design” is an emblem poem written in two stanzas, with the first stanza centering around description, and the second focusing on meditation. It has also been pointed out that this causes the line between form and structure to blur greatly, which doesn’t exactly help those who have trouble distinguishing the two. To clarify, form is the physical structure of the poem, such as line breaks, etc. It determins how the poem looks on the page. Structure is more of a content issue, which governs the way the content flows and how it relates to itself. In the case of emblem poems, the structure goes from description to meditation, or vise versa.

Frost spend the first stanza describing the characters: the spider, the moth, and the flower. He explains them to us in detail, and even then muses on their apperance. However, in the second stanza, Frost begins analyzing what brought them to where they are. He assumes that whatever it was is nothing good, to bring together such a cruel, ironic picture…that is, if something did indeed bring them together. In “Structure and Surprise,” the author notes that the entire picture is like a cruel joke. There is a lot of white used in the imagery, a color used to convey innocence and purity. The event occours in the morning, and the spider is described “like a child playing with a kite.” As the author mentioned, it would seem that Frost takes a rather bitter approach to the concept of design.

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