A Girls Garden is a poem written by Robert Frost. The poem basically speaks about a farm girl who asked her father for a piece of land to tender and fulfill her farming passion. The father was not mean and so gave her a piece of land on which previously stood a shop. However, the girl turned out to be lazy, planting small amounts of many varieties which resulted in poor yields. The piece of land even produced an apple cedar tree that the girl (now a woman) denied having planted (DiYanni, 960). I like this poem because of its setting. It is set in a farm with an adventurous girl who wants to practice farming. The description of her carrying a wheelbarrow of dung and then leaving it on the road arouses nostalgia of my younger days when I used to escape errands even though I was the primary beneficiary of the chores.
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1984. He was born with her sister Jeanie by their parents William Prescott Frost Jr and Isabelle Moodie in San Francisco. When at the age of 11, Frosts father died of tuberculosis and therefore his family relocated to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He developed interest in poetry during his high school years. In 1882, Frost enrolled for an informal degree in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and later joined Harvard University. After University, he worked as a teacher, a cobbler and an editor. In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White who shared in his passion for poetry. In 1892, the couple moved to England where Frost met and drew inspiration from British poets like Robert Graves and Edward Thomas. In 1915, Frost returned to the United States having published two poetic collections. He continued writing and publishing poems in the United States and won various awards like the prestigious Pulitzer award. His poems are a blend of modern poetic style and traditional poetry and use a great deal of irony and symbolism. He talks about his own life in these poems. Daniel Hoffman in 1970 described Frosts work as Puritan Ethic that has been lyrically designed to enable it to say about its special position in the world (Poets.org).
This poem will be analyzed based on two poetic devices: themes and symbolism. Among the themes depicted in this poem are hard work, life in youth versus that in old age and country life. The poet contrasts the persona in different ages of her life. He explains of a farm she tendered in her youth and how it produced low yields due to poor farming and lack of commitment. The poet says that the farm produced a little of everything, but a great deal of nothing. This theme is in line with a common saying that one reaps what they sow. Due to lack of hard work and commitment, the girls garden yielded essentially no sustainable food, while at the same time produced some crops she wasnt sure she planted: she has long mistrusted. That a cider apple tree, In bearing there to-day is hers. The poem is symbolic of what ones action in the youth affect the life afterwards. The garden is symbolic of life in general. The girl is symbolic of any person in their youth. The produce symbolizes the outcomes of actions in ones youth. The poet mentions that the girl usually failed to deliver manure to the firm and occasionally hid from the people. Manure is symbolic of nourishment for the crops. In this context, moral and spiritual nourishment for the girl, who grew up to regret due to lack of such nourishment in her youth.
DiYanni, Robert. Robert Frost in Context. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 2009. 953 989. Print.
Robert Frost. The Academy of American Poets, Inc. 2016. Web. 14 Jun. 2016.
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