Truly Alone-Or a Few Feet from Home?

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"I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places."

Do these lines mean that Frost has simply walked a few yards or a mile or two away from his home?  I have read this poem several times before and I always imagined that he was far away from all civilization, surrounded by nature and almost enclosed in a bubble of isolation.  Rereading these lines give me a different visual.  I can almost see him taking a break from family on Christmas Eve to go for a walk.  Maybe he wanted to join in with the festivities, but he didn't quite feel like he fit in so he took a walk in the woods to clear his mind.  I know that Christmas is a joyful time to spend with family, but sometimes it can seem very lonely to me.  All of the hype can be exhausting.  I understand that there was absolutely no mention of Christmas or holidays, but winter automatically made me think of Christmas break.  Whether he is a few feet away from his family and home in his backyard woods or in the middle of nowhere-it really makes no difference.  Like Kayla said, you can be lonely no matter where you are.

Kayla's link:
http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KaylaLesko/2009/09/i_cant_seem_to_escape_this.html

2 Comments

Josie Rush said:

I took the last line to mean that his desert places were inside of himself. That's why it didn't really matter where he was; he couldn't escape these "desert places."
And I'm with you on Christmas. Too much emotional responsibility. Everyone has to be happy *and* shop in crowded malls. Talk about asking the impossible.

Word to Josie, lol. I also thought the desert places were inside himself. I found a really interesting interpretation here by Albert J. Von Frank and blogged about it. Von Franks suggests that in Desert Places, Frost implies that the desert place he passes is less meaningful than the desert place in himself because humans bring meaning to the world. I suggest reading his analysis!

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