"Desert Places" can be read both as a meditation on humanity's isolation in the grand scheme of the cosmos and as a reflection of the speaker's personal loneliness. This speaker, traveling at night in a snowstorm, feels profoundly alone while watching white "blankness" cover a nearby field. This blankness seems to reflect nature's general indifference toward humanity, and it may also reflect the speaker's own internal sense of detachment and desolation. The speaker finds such "desert places"—that is, the empty, isolated spaces of the earth and/or of the mind—as frightening to contemplate as the vast void of outer space. One of Robert Frost's enduringly popular poems, "Desert Places" was first published in 1934 and later collected in the Pulitzer Prize-winning volume A Further Range (1936).