Robert Frost’s essay “The Figure a Poem Makes” talks about his own perception of how poem should be and how people should view poem. He mentions that all poems should be distinct from one another and should have wisdom that the readers can benefit from, not only to entertain them. The poem should also evoke its readers to discover something they previously do not know, but they actually know from the start. Frost also noted the relationship of the writer’s emotions while writing the poem and the reader’s emotion while reading the poem. At the end of his essay, Frost asserted that poems are eternal—that they will forever bear their wisdom and truth.
Written in 1939, Robert Frost’s essay is combative, ironic, cryptic, delightful, damning of scholars and, for aspiring poets, encouraging of both a formal awareness and a cavalier attitude. The Figure a Poem Makes talks of the experience of writing rather than reading and the resulting poem is first described negatively (what it is not) then more positively in the famous phrases that it is a “momentary stay against confusion”, that it begins “in delight and ends in wisdom”. Along the way, Frost images the poet as giant, lover and grasshopper. Like most of his comments on poetry, the essay does not develop in a scholarly way, but there is an underlying coherence and in what follows I hope to track it down. You can read . I have also posted