Poetry Essay Topic: Consider what the poems suggest about the poet’s relationship to nature in Frost’s “Stopping By woods on a Snowy Evening” and Ortiz’s “Bend in the River.” It is clear in Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and in Ortiz’s “Bend in the River” that both poets posses a unique, yet similar relationship with nature. What isn’t so clear is how these relationships are illustrated in comparison and contrast. Frost’s poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” suggests his distance, resistance, and fear towards nature; whereas, Ortiz’s “Bend in the River” suggests the poets adaptation and oneness with nature. This essay will consider these contrasts and also illuminate the one mutual feeling between the two poets: Respect. The content of Frost’s poem tells us a substantial amount about his relationship with nature. It reveals his resistance to nature, the inability to survive outside of the confines of civilization. This is clearly shown in Stanza three when the horse “gives his harness bells a shake/ To ask if there is some mistake”. This makes us aware of the uncomfortableness that occurs when there is no progress being made towards getting out of nature and back into a familiar civilized environment. Along with Frost resisting natures way, he displays fear as well. He fear is demonstrated by his continuous descriptions of nature as being almost menacing. “The darkest evening of the year.” and “The woods are lovely, dark and deep” give the reader a sense that Frost doesn’t want to stay here for very long. Frost paints a good picture of a place that is cold and dark yet lovely from a distance, telling us of his admiration when spoiling his eyes, however fearfully apprehensive to soil his hands. Ortiz’s connection with nature is something quite unlike Frost’s trepidation; whereas Frost sat back and admired nature from a distance Ortiz lived in harmony with nature, he was immersed in nature, while in love with it, and this shined through in the beautiful content of the poem. This is shown throughout the poem as Ortiz goes to the extra pains to point out to the reader the small details, solidifying our belief in Ortiz’s appreciation of nature. Stanza three superbly enriches our minds to the power and splendor of nature. ” cut deeply”, “poplar log”, “damp sand” Ortiz uses these surreptitiously, the reader not quite aware of the power and meaning behind their usage until upon closer examination. One begins to realize the presence of more than a connection and love with nature exists in Ortiz as a oneness or unity begin to emerge towards the end of the poem.
The content of both poems seems to differ in titanic proportions for the most part. Frost exhibiting nature as beauty to be taken in from afar, however too ominous to embrace and experience. In contrast, Ortiz signifies every strength and all the magnificence of nature as he immerses himself in it and it within in. Throughout both poems these views shoot out at us yet one mutual emotion and feeling presents itself to us: respect. Both of these authors, whether through fear or selfless embrace, have a great deal of respect for their entwined surroundings. On reflecting the form of each poem, the reader is once more made aware of the poets’ outlook on nature. Within the confines of Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” emerges a definite rigid structure. He begins every line with a capital, while following the same rhyme scheme of AABA throughout. Him following this firm style, without vary, for the entire poem suggests nature being a constraint on Frost. In fact the only variation occurring are the repetitive rhyme ending the poem and arranged italics within each stanza, indicating even within constraining confines there exists flexibility. In contrast, Ortiz, once again, flips the tables for a reversed view. His prose is very relaxed to support his in depth view of naturalistic beauty and respect. This method can symbolize his existence within as being free, not beset with the limitations that are felt by Frost. The fact that Ortiz is Native American could aid towards this sense of liberty as he writes with of beauty, and understanding that his people have lived with for centuries. In contrast and comparison each poem uniquely deposits the poets views on us and dawns the realization of what more nature can be. Frost and Ortiz both beautify their works with inapt attention to usually overlooked details, while one’s is spawned from fearful apprehension the other flowers from love and admiration. However differ the poets outlook on their environment they both share a very common feeling towards it, and that is respect. Each aware of the strength and power that nature posses, and their helplessness to it. Where Frost resists this governing force and Ortiz integrates and becomes part of it, they are both incredibly aware of what Nature does possess.