cover image for Stars by Robert Frost

Stars by Robert Frost: Complete Analysis and Meaning

Robert Frost was an admirer of nature, and the way nature moved him and influenced him can be easily seen in his poems. Grounds covered with fallen, golden leaves, snow blankets all over the place, stars in the sky, trees and flowers everywhere, all these elements of nature play a huge role in Frost’s poetry. 

So it is not surprising that Frost wrote a beautiful poem about stars. Stars have always driven the creative engine of many poets and authors. Robert Frost wrote this simple yet powerful poem describing his thoughts about these tiny dots of light and hope. 

Let’s look at the poem Stars by Frost and then analyze and find the meaning behind this poem. Something that we have noticed is how many people get the meaning of this poem wrong. We’ll describe what Frost was trying to convey and how to understand his work with ease. 

Stars by Robert Frost

How countlessly they congregate
     O’er our tumultuous snow,
Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
     When wintry winds do blow!—

As if with keenness for our fate,
     Out faltering few steps on
To white rest, and a place of rest
     Invisible at dawn,—

And yet with neither love nor hate,
     Those stars like some snow-white
Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes
     Without the gift of sight.

- Robert Frost

Meaning of the Poem “Stars” 

To understand the poem properly, let’s divide the poem into three sections, each with four lines; The first section is about establishing the focus of the poem. The stars here take the central role and we get to know about how the poet looks at these stars. 

How countlessly they congregate

     O’er our tumultuous snow,

Which flows in shapes as tall as trees

     When wintry winds do blow!—

The stars are countless in number, and they are all gathered over our tumultuous snow. What most people get wrong here is the “tumultuous snow” bit. Here Frost is not talking about the snow on the ground. The word “snow” is used as a metaphor to describe the white clouds that cover the sky and flow in shapes as tall as trees when wintry winds blow. The word “tumultuous” could refer to their stormy nature. Maybe Frost is observing snowfall, and looking at the stars when the clouds occasionally clear out. 

As if with keenness for our fate,

     Our faltering few steps on

To white rest, and a place of rest

     Invisible at dawn,—

The second stanza is the most complex one, and it is used to establish our perceived nature of the stars. To us, these stars might appear to guide us. It is as if they come out to direct us to the right direction when there is no light, and they go invisible at dawn, when we can see easily. Frost portrays stars as our guides, guiding us when we are lost in the darkness. But remember, this is what we think of stars, not what they actually are. The third stanza establishes what stars really are. 

And yet with neither love nor hate,

     Those stars like some snow-white

Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes

     Without the gift of sight.

These stars, even though to us might seem like guides, are actually unbothered by our fates, our problems, and our predicament. They do not love or hate us, but are indifferent to us. The third stanza also establishes our insignificance in the grander scheme of things. 

The stars are like Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes, they might look like they are watching us, but in reality they are blind. They do not have the power to see. It is important to note that Frost says stars are like Minerva’s eyes. Minerva is the Roman Goddess of wisdom and art. She is the daughter of Jupiter and Juno.

So the essence of the poem would be this; the stars are blind to what we do or if we suffer or not, but that does not mean they cannot be a source of our wisdom. They can still be our guides, the savers in our perils. It is just that if we smile or cry, they are indifferent to it. They are just guiding forces, there to show the path. Right or wrong is beyond their domain or interest. 

Literary Devices in the Poem 

Robert Frost’s poems are known to have a lot of literary devices. Here are some of the literary devices in the poem “Stars”. 

Metaphors: Here are all the examples of metaphors used in the poem: 

     O’er our tumultuous snow,

As if with keenness for our fate,

To white rest, and a place of rest

Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes

     Without the gift of sight.

Alliteration: Here are all the examples of alliteration in the poem:

How countlessly they congregate

O’er our tumultuous snow,

Which flows in shapes as tall as trees

When wintry winds do blow!—

Our faltering few steps on

Those stars like some snow-white

Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes

Rhyming Scheme: The rhyming scheme of the poem is ABCB. 

Theme: The theme of the poem is fate, life, and the events that come from our choices. The tone of the poem is mixed with uncertainty, hope, desires, etc.

Read More

Similar Posts