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Literature / Collected Poems (1930)

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Collected Poems is a 1930 book of poetry by Robert Frost.

It contains the contents of his first five poetry books: A Boy's Will, North of Boston, Mountain Interval, New Hampshire, and West-Running Brook. Among the collection are several of Frost's most famous poems, including "Mending Wall", "The Death of the Hired Man", "Acquainted With the Night", and "The Road Not Taken".

For tropes present in the collection New Hampshire, see the work page, New Hampshire. Tropes from the other poems in this collection are listed below.



  • Abandoned Area: "Ghost House" has the speaker living in an abandoned house where everything has been overgrown. He wonders who the people buried in the backyard were.
  • At the Crossroads: "The Road Not Taken" is all about this. Or at least, it's commonly read to be all about this. Frost apparently meant it to be a satire of indecision, and was irritated in later years when he realized that invokedpeople were taking it more seriously than he'd intended.
    "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas Trees", in which the speaker is startled to have a city slicker come up to his house and offer to buy all the trees in the woods behind them as Christmas trees. Eventually the speaker turns him down.
    "I hadn't thought of them as Christmas trees."
  • Death of a Child: Dealt with after the fact in "Home Burial", where a mother looks out the window at the grave of her child in the backyard and wonders how her husband was able to dig it.
  • Gray Rain of Depression:
    • Played with and ultimately subverted in "My November Guest". Frost's "Sorrow" (the titular guest) "thinks these dark days of autumn rain/Are beautiful as days can be." But what Sorrow does not know is that the speaker has grown to love the rainy November days that come before snow.
    • Played straight in "Acquainted With the Night", in which the speaker says "I have walked out in rain—and back in rain." He talks of looking down "the saddest city lane", and how he hears cries, "But not to call me back or say good-by." The poem is generally regarded as a metaphor for deression.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: "Into My Own" has the speaker looking at a dark forest and imagining it to be his unknown future, where he must go to find himself as his own person after leaving his family.
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: Frost would do this sometimes to make a rhyme, like when he needed to rhyme a line with "gray", so he wrote "the gray of the moss of walls were they." ("Pan With Us")
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  • Madwoman in the Attic: The speaker in "A Servant to Servants" recalls how her insane uncle was locked up in a homemade cell in the attic. Eventually "they put a stop to it" and her uncle was never seen again.
  • Painful Rhyme: In "The Last Mowing" Frost rhymes "season" with "trees on", despite the fact that when properly pronounced the last vowels don't rhyme.
  • Property Line: Discussed Trope in "Mending Wall". The speaker considers that "Something there is that doesn't love a wall", and the natural tendency to tear walls down. The speaker wonders why walls are necessary. His more conventional neighbor, mending the wall along with the speaker from the other side, says merely "Good fences make good neighbors."
  • Romantic Rain: Discussed Trope in "A Line-Storm Song", where the speaker watches the storm pour outside and urges his lover to come out into the rain with him.
    "Come over the hills and far with me/And be my love in the rain."
  • Shout-Out: Frost admired fellow poet Ridgely Torrence enough to dedicate a poem to him. "A Passing Glimpse" is dedicated to Torrence "On Last Looking into His 'Hesperides'", Hesperides being one of Torrence's books.
  • Sonnet: Frost wrote several, mostly earlier in his career. "Into My Own" uses an idiosyncratic AABB rhyme scheme that almost no classic sonnets use.
  • There's No Place Like Home: Discussed Trope in "The Death of the Hired Man". Silas the itinerant laborer has come back to the farm of Mary and Warren after some time away. Warren isn't thrilled about this, as Silas once went off and left him in the lurch with work to be done, but Mary recognizes that Silas is terribly ill and has really come to the farm to die. Silas has a well-to-do brother, but, as Mary and Warren come to realize, apparently their farm felt more like home to Silas than his estranged brother's house.
    "Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
    They have to take you in."
  • Verbing Nouny: "Mending Wall", in which the speaker and his neighbor fix a crumbling stone wall, each from their own side.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: A metaphorical one on "Once by the Pacific". The speaker, looking at waves crashing against a cliff, gets a feeling "a night of dark intent/Was coming, and not only a night, an age."
    "There would be more than ocean-water broken
    Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.