Of the Stones of the Place : by Robert Frost || Analysis

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Of the Stones of the Place

I farm a pasture where the boulders lie
As touching as a basket full of eggs,
And though they’re nothing anybody begs,
I wonder if it wouldn’t signify

For me to send you one out where you live
In wind-soil to a depth of thirty feet,
And every acre good enough to eat,
As fine as flour put through a baker’s sieve.

I’d ship a smooth one you could slap and chafe,
And set up like a statue in your yard,
And eolith palladium to guard
The West and keep the old tradition safe.

Carve nothing on it. You can simply say
In self-defense to quizzical inquiry:
‘The portrait of the soul of my grand sir Ira.
It came from where he came from anyway.’

I farm a pasture where the boulders lie As touching as a basket full of eggs, And though they’re nothing anybody begs, I wonder if it wouldn’t signify  For me to send you one out where you live In wind-soil to a depth of thirty feet, And every acre good enough to eat, As fine as flour put through a baker’s sieve.
Of the Stones of the Place

Analysis

Introduction:

      The poem Of the Stones of the Place by Robert Frost from A Witness Tree is about the stones of the New England landscape. An old friend of narrator seeking for fertile land, which leads him toward settlement of his country life.

Development of Thought:

      The poet addresses an old friend who has left the New England countryside to settle in the Midwest where the soil is rich and free of stones. But in his own place, the boulders lie 'As touching as a basket full of eggs', says Frost, in a humorous comparison bringing out the large number as well as the round smoothness of the stones. He speaks humorously of sending the friend a boulder which he could set up like a statue in his yard-

"An eolith palladium to guard,
The west and keep the old tradition safe."

Critical Remarks:

      The boulder is a 'friendly enemy' to the New Englander, a persistent reminder of the world of Nature - indifferent, even hostile, to man. But the boulder symbolises also New England and the continuity of a tradition going back to ancient Greece. Hardness, says Frost, must be met with hardness, but also with a kind of affection.

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