Andrew Fariello Professor Didner ENC1102 MW 3:30-5:15 “A Soldier” by Robert Frost “A Soldier” by Robert Frost Robert Frost’s “A Soldier” attracted my interest to some degree. As a United States military veteran of a foreign war, I significantly related to the message that Robert Frost was sending. From my own personal experiences that I have endured while fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom conflict in Iraq, Robert Frost’s words exploded imagery into my mind breaking open another dimension that typed words on a paper could not provide alone.
His poem really hit home, creating a bond between the poem and myself, making “A Soldier” a wonderful poem for me to analyze. In the poem “A Soldier,” Robert Frost uses a hurled lance that will eventually rot away to symbolize a dead solider that too, will be forgotten soon. Frost is describing a soldier that has been killed by war, and has been forgotten due to the fact that the soldier is just that: a soldier, a killer that had been killed for an unimportant ugly cause. Robert Frost portrays an image that the soldier did live for a greater cause, and should be remembered for it.
Robert Frost first describes a lance that has come to rest on the ground, and will soon rot away. He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled, That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust, “He is that fallen lance that lies,” and “That lies unlifted,” tells the reader that the soldier is dead. The “fallen lance” is “He,” the soldier. “Lies unlifted” tells the reader that the soldier is dead, not uplifted as the reader would expect to have read rather than the word “unlifted. The lance, which is the soldier, will wither away just as a lance left in the ground would rust away. Then Frost tells his readers that society doesn’t see the soldier’s life important enough to have solved anything, and that the soldier’s death didn’t have any meaning. Before Frost tells his readers this, he first gives a hint that the soldier’s death did have meaning. But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust. If we who sight along round the world, See nothing worthy to have been its mark, It is because like men we look too near,
Forgetting that as fitted to the spear, “See nothing worthy to have been its mark” symbolizes that the soldier wasn’t “worthy”, or important enough to have come to lie permanently in the “dust”, or the earth. Although society couldn’t see a larger picture, and no meaning behind the soldier’s death, as Frost portrays as “men” who “look too near”, the soldier did, in fact, have a greater meaning to it all. Frost portrays this theory by keeping the lance, or solider “pointed as it ploughed the dust”, meaning the solider was pointed in the right direction in his life.
Lastly, Frost describes the burden that is created from our weapons, but shows us that the soldier will be triumphant after his death. Our missiles always make too short an arc. They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect The curve of Earth, and striking, break their own; They make us cringe for metal-point on stone. But this we know, the obstacle that checked And tripped the body, shot the sprit on Further than target ever showed or shone. “Too short an arc”, and “they intersect”, symbolizes that our weapons are designed to come down to earth and destroy. Break their own” and “metal-point to stone” symbolizes that once the weapons do come down, they will destroy their own race and their creations. The soldier though, “tripped” and “shot the sprit on,” depicting that he is in a better place now. And the soldier is now at peace. Robert Frost used rhyme to keep the reader’s interest, and implemented it very cleverly into his poem. The last word in the first line of his poem rhymes with the last word of the fourth line.
And the last word of the very next line rhymes with the last word of the eighth line, which is the same interval of lines between the first and fourth lines. This pattern continues throughout the poem, and the lines that are in the middle of these intervals, also have their last words rhyming with each other. In conclusion, Robert Frost paints an image of a passed soldier that many may have been forgotten. Although only few will see the bigger picture behind the soldier’s death, the soldier’s sprit has moved on to a place where it can’t be exposed anymore; “Further than target ever showed or shown. “