Roberts work is linked with the lives of natives, and he mainly focused on the scenery of New England and poetry that features verses of traditional forms, he also maintained the writing fashion well known as of his time (Alexander & Brent). On the hand Wallace Stevens feels that he can’t relate anything from the old poems, he sees it as an opportune time poets and versifiers write poems that relate to every day to day life (Meecham). This paper aims to interpret, analyze and discuss the similarities and the disparities between ″An Old Man′s Winter Night″ by Robert Frost, and ″Of Modern Poetry″ by Wallace Stevens’s poetries.
″An Old Man′s Winter Night″ is a moving poem that talks about a dying lonely old man. “That brought him to that creaking room was age” (line 7), and “One aged man—one man—can’t fill a house” (line 26) in a dark house during winter the old man stands there stranded in the hour of demise. “A light he was to no one but himself” (15) and “That gathers on the pane in empty rooms” (line 3). Due to his old age, his memory is fading and letting him down “What kept him from remembering what it was” (line 6) he seems not to comprehend who he is and the reason he is at the house at the first place. The weather outside is cold and severe, and this keeps him inside the house.
“For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep” (lines 20-21)
The old man is very lonely and doesn’t have any family or acquaintances, he seems not to be existing for anything or anyone “A light he was to no one but himself” (15). Robert captures the attention of the reader when he exposes the old man as being alone. It is also evident that he doesn’t care because he got nothing to lose even if he dies, the aged man got no individual to remember him once he is gone “A light he was to no one but himself” (line 15). The darkness filling the house and the cellar underneath scares him, in an attempt to counter the fear building in him he pounds the ground instead of alienating his qualms.
“And having scared the cellar under him.
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off;—and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,” (line 9-13)
As the poem comes to an alt, the old man falls into a deep slumber “And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept” (line 25), symbolizing the aged man may have died.
“Of Modern Poetry” not being a long poem, sees Steven exploring the modern poetry and claims that “The poem of the mind in the act of finding/ what will suffice” (1-2) which he revolves around to discuss the whole poem. Indeed he begins by explaining how versifiers of poems used to have an easy task. According to him, they knew the goodness of what they were writing, for example, the classic poems, and they would do unsurpassed tasks to replicate from one fantastic poetry work to another. Unfortunately, the 20th would come with changes that poets are finding hard to contemplate; these changes have made it difficult for troubadours and individuals to love poems that talks about modest shepherds and native lovers; implying poetry and moved a notch and utterly changed, advance and many underlying factors as compared to the past.
What follows is Steven expounding his kind of reasoning in ten or so lines. Behind his argument is how and what the poems should adopt to pick pace with the twentieth audience who expects to hear staff about the changing times and what is currently at stake, not what used to happen. He dictates several rules to implement this; the first rule is for the poem to be flexible, the second is for the poem to discuss issues that link and touch day to day life of ordinary individuals. The third rule and the final one is the poets should be ready to enthusiastically talk about the ugly and the bad things about life as much as they talk about the good ones.
Steven lastly mediates that contemporary poetry ought to have only one core subject, and this subject should be the poetry itself. He further depicts that modern poetry should touch much on the act of laying down the poems. More precisely, it should talk about creating a mood that makes individuals feel good about themselves and most essentially their lives. In his own words; “the finding of a satisfaction” (26). The poet should designate where the reader finds satisfaction, though these recent times are full of unfortunates, the poem must give the readers a feeling of purpose and optimism. According to Steven, the world is already a hard rock for its inhabitants and poetry should try to neutralize this, and not make it rougher.
In conclusion, though the two poems seem entirely different because Robert is touching much on the old concepts while Steven is running away from the old narrative of writing. They seem to converge in the message delivery where on a sharp look they both conveying a missive to the modern readers. Roberts though doesn’t ultimately come clear; his dispatch is how one gets disadvantaged if he or she grows old without a family. On the other hand, Steven is telling the young writers to venture in new grass fields when they are writing poems and look into the day to day life stories and put insight in them when bringing their work on paper.
Alexander, Brent J. An annotated bibliography of selected choral works set to the text of Robert Frost. West Virginia University, 2007.
Meecham, Pam, and Julie Sheldon. Modern art: A critical introduction. Routledge, 2013.