The structure of the poem is especially interesting- notice the rhyme scheme below:
Stanza: quatrain (4 total)
Rhyme Scheme: aaba bbcb ccdc dddd (similar to a Rubaiyat stanza)
Stopping by Wood on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Of the Poem (One of Many Takes):
We find ourselves, as Heidegger might suggest, thrown into an existence that's nothing less than spectacular: there are the trees, the vaulted blue sky, florescent green grass after it rains- an inexhaustible amount of beautiful things. Indeed, the very idea that one is alive- existing- is marvelous in itself. In short, we're surrounded by an incredible, incredible amount of beauty.
All too often, however, we loose ourselves in mundane worldly matters, becoming so obsorbed in sustaining existence that we tend to loose sight of its very beauty, its splendor. Aesthetic passion and attention flees- or at least seems greatly diminished- where social obligations reign. A great majority of times it seems conventional existence is structured to wage war on on the aesthetic heart- "busy, busy, busy" ... "worry, worry, worry" become its mantra, and we seem hypnotized by it to the point that we literally don't take the time out to stop and smell the roses.
On a purely superficial level it seems that Frost would at least have us aware of the conflict between our inherent desire to be one with beauty and the social constrains and obligations that tend to domesticate that desire. It's almost as if the poem has for its inner topic the conflict between freedom and necessity.
The poet's individual yields to that beauty- out of nowhere and just that moment- and takes in the "lovely, dark, and deep" which was laced with snow that was still falling. Necessity then impinged itself upon the moment and called this person's attention "back to reality" and away from beauty's transcendental sway. In the end the individual leaves that snowy encounter.
The point I derive from the poem is that, despite pressing obligations and social demands, we should step outside of our constraints occasionally and take in some of this beauty that surrounds us.