i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Frosty Gardens

March 1, 2005

Good thing I'm taking Intro to Literary Study this semester or I never would have noticed that Robert Frost's "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same" is a sonnet, one with a Shakespeare rhyme scheme no less! Sweet!

The rhyme scheme, if you are wondering, is ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Now, usually with the Shakespearan sonnet, the stanzas' meanings are broken down into 4,4,4 and then the final rhyming couplet. (Usually a sonnet's meaning is done by 8 lines (possibly 4 x 4) and then 6. The Frost poem seems to be more 5, 4, 3, 2.

Here's what I know about the poem: we have a He and a She. She is named Eve. Eve makes me think of the famous duo - add the fact that the He is talking about birds in the garden who sound a bit like Eve and we have us a biblical reference! Is this intentional or not? We also know that Eve isn't around anymore.

Did Eve die? I think she did. I see a sad man staring off into his garden thinking of his love Eve who has flown away to heaven (or wherever) and something in the songs of the birds makes him think of her and remember. The last line confused me for a little bit:

"And to do that to birds was why she came."

My first reading of that suggested, perhaps, malicious intent - as if she had somehow trained the birds... when I re-read the poem I realized that more likely the meaning was that she was meant to play a significant role in the life of "He" - symbolized by the singing of the birds.

Moira at 9:45 AM :: Comments (2) :: ::

I also caught that the sonnet rhyme scheme was Shakespearian--lovely to find something familiar.

I think you're on to something with the Biblical references. Who is(are) the "bird(s)" in this poem? Are they really birds, or is this an allusion to something else?

When I think of Adam and Eve, no animal but a snake comes into my mind. A bird, however, is quite the opposite of a snake in so many ways--winged with free movement, beak vs. teeth and tongue; and even the emotions we associate with the animals are quite contrasting. What could Frost imply with this? I'm really puzzled. What are your thoughts?

Posted by: Karissa at March 1, 2005 6:17 PM

You know, I'm not really sure! Good point about the snake and the birds being pretty much opposite symbolically. Honestly, Karissa, I have no idea! This would be a great thing to bring up in class, methinks! :c)

Posted by: moira at March 1, 2005 6:24 PM
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