Frosts Design: The Abyss in Miniature

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Frost’s Design: The Abyss in Miniature We’ve all encountered the version of Robert Frost’s persona that abides in color calendars and motivational posters. In grade school, his road not taken might be the path that an individualist might choose, one who dares to be different. (Avoiding general intro statements (“Since the dawn of time” “People have always loved nature” etc. and staying with the author himself. You can talk about the ideas in the poem rather than the poet as an intro, just don’t get too general). Yet Frost claimed himself to be a poet of the abyss, facing the stark nothingness of the universe. In his poem “Design,” Frost employs his signature formal choices of iambic pentameter alongside the symbol of a spider and breathy consonant blends to emphasize the possibility the order of the universe might not extend itself to humble beings. Not only are the three strategies listed, I say what they emphasize, the main idea. Frost uses iambic pentameter as a counterbalance to the daunting expression of the absence of order in the world. He writes, “I found a dimpled spider, fat and white/On a white heal-all, holding up a moth” (Frost l. 1-2). Quoting lines MLA style early in the paragraph. The easy but consistent gait the meter gives the line helps him open this devastating poem with a matter of fact tone, easy to understand. The moth at the end of the second line is our first sign the poem doesn’t sell us a peaceful view of nature. The poem continues in this meter – the one most natural to English – and allows him to ask with a simultaneous easiness and form “What had that flower to do with being white?...What brought the kindred spider to that height?” (l. 9 and 11). Not afraid to briefly quote again. In the penultimate line of the poem, Frost breaks with conversational syntax but maintains the order in an almost unpleasant to say and harder to
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