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The Wood-Pile Summary & Analysis
by Robert Frost

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"The Wood-Pile," by the American poet Robert Frost, is at once a playful and somber look at the relationship between human beings and the natural world, as well as at the joys and dangers of exploration. The poem's speaker describes his surroundings as he walks through a frozen swamp, getting further from home in the process. Exploring this unfamiliar and seemingly unwelcoming place makes the speaker feel profoundly alone. When he stumbles upon an abandoned pile of wood, however, he feels a sense of connection, and imagines that the pile's creator left the wood behind in order to move on to "fresh," or new and invigorating, "tasks." At the same time, the rotting pile wrapped in vines ends the poem with a perhaps unsettling image of death, decay, and impermanence. "The Wood-Pile" was published in Frost's second book, his 1914 collection North of Boston.

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