Putting In The Seed: Poem || Summary and Analysis

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Putting In The Seed

You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper's on the table, and we'll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea);
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,

Slave to a Springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

You come to fetch me from my work to-night When supper's on the table, and we'll see If I can leave off burying the white Soft petals fallen from the apple tree (Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite, Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea); And go along with you ere you lose sight Of what you came for and become like me,
Putting In The Seed

Summary and Analysis

Introduction:

      The poem Putting In The Seed by Robert Frost from Mountain Interval combines Shakespearean sonnet form and the dramatic monologue. A beautifully constructed sonnet, its central metaphor moves smoothly from the particular to the universal. Again Frost points out the metaphorical parallel between the natural and the human.

Summary:

      The sonnet form is used by Frost to encompass a series of oppositions - birth and burial, white and tarnished, smooth and wrinkled, you and I - and to unite them in the central symbol of the "seed". The whole scene in the first eight lines is simply a ruralpicture. In the ninth line comes the human dimension to the evidence of spring fertility in the fallen apple blossoms. Love and Putting in the Seed clearly denote the theme of human sexuality as do the words 'burn', 'birth' and 'arched body'. Thus the farmer's work of "putting in the seed" for plants to grow is transformed by shared insight and affection. The action, whether human or in plant, leads to fruition - an inevitable process. The two images of birth - the plant bursting through the ground and baby shouldering its way into world - give strength to the whole poem. An allegory of marriage and of the "force that through the green fuse drives" is linked with springtime metamorphosis and the felt thrust of love and birth.

Critical Appreciation:

      The power of the poem comes from the colloquial idiom of the speaker, working casually to seize upon mostprimal passions, recalling his action of incidentally turning the barren apple blossoms into a substance nourishing the seed he plants. The very tautness of the form controls first, the dramatic change from the colloquial voice to the more solemn statement and, second, the development from the simple realistic act of burying the apple petals to the power of the later imagery.

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