Analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

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By Diljahan Shimla
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Expert Author Diljahan Shimla

Robert Frost, one of the eminent poets, who stands at the crossroad of Nineteenth Century and Twentieth Century; has taken the old customs, manners, traditions, etc. and shaped them with new flavors and colors. In his poetry Nature plays a vital role. Nature is used as a tool to communicate his own voice and philosophical thought .

“Nothing Gold can stay” is a poem of Nature and the perennial theme of mutability. The poem is a clear and concise indication of transitoriness .

In the poem, ‘Nature’s first green is gold’ means that Nature’s green sprouting from earth is Gold. Here, ‘Nature’s first green’ is the indication of new life, new born baby, new hope, new opportunity, new possibility etc. and ‘the Gold’ is the precious commodity; which is purifying, balancing, and vitalizing energy or force, treasurable and a symbol of beauty. The Nature comes with a golden mask to the earth and begins to turn in Green. The baby born with purity from heaven but the innocence fades away with ages. The Golden time does not belong to forever .

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The next line, ‘Her hardest hue to hold’ is used to explain that we cannot hold the beauty of nature, the vigorous youth and finally the life. ‘Her early leaf’s a flower’ indicates that after sprouting, the nature begin to flourish and her first sign is a leaf which is green, the sign of virginity, freshness and purity; and the flower which is attractive, beautiful and dynamic. After a journey of childhood, the adulthood comes but ‘only so an hour’. Here ‘an hour’ is a symbol of shortness .

In the last four lines, Frost describes that the leaves begin to subside after maturity. After blooming, flowers begin to wither away. The heavenly joy of ‘EDEN sank to grief’, which is used as a symbolic manner. In religion, Eden is described as a garden of heaven in which Adam and Eve lived in total innocence and pleasure before eating from the Tree of Knowledge but lost the favors of God at once. Even the sun shines at the morning and faded away at the end of the day. The changes of nature and life are not consistent or immortal .

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In the eight lines, Frost sketches the journey of mortality. The life cycle in the earth is changeable and short. The child born, experience a youth and then comes the old age. All are short in length. And the final destination is in death, the end of existence. The golden memories become pale with time. The tenure of ‘golden age’ does not exist for long. The golden opportunity never comes again and again. Nothing is everlasting except almighty Allah “God” .


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