How Robert Frost Uses Literary Devices To Indicate That Good Things Come And Go In His Poem Nothing Gold Can Stay

Remain precious and pure

Every living thing has a life cycle. This includes humans, animals and plants. Every living thing will eventually die. It is simply inevitable. Deirdre Fagan’s paper “Nothing Gold Can Keep” states that “All beauty is fleeting” and that good things are not always permanent. He also emphasizes the fact that no one should take anything in life as granted.

In “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, imagery is the most prominent literary device. It can be defined simply as visual descriptive language or figurative. Frost uses vividly descriptive words throughout the poem in order to assist readers in visualizing the things he is speaking about. The imagery helps readers to visualize the themes of the poem. In line 5, it states, “Then, leaf subsides into leaf.” (Frost). It’s easy to imagine what it is like for readers to see the leaves falling off of the braches they were once attached. The leaves are almost visible in their minds. Understanding the meaning of a line in the poem is easier when they can visualise the event. Line seven of the poem, which reads “So dawn descends to day,” is another example of the imagery used. (Frost). This phrase is not only strangely written, but it describes a sunrise in a morning. It also represents the beginning. The poem’s description of the sunrise can be interpreted by readers as a metaphor for new experiences in their lives. Frost’s imagery helps readers to connect Frost’s ideas with phenomena that are familiar to them from their daily lives. Frost says that “Nature’s First Green is Gold” in line 1. Frost does NOT mean that trees suddenly become golden, but rather that new life is abundant all around. The color green, which is often associated with nature, is another example. It symbolizes new, fresh life and possibilities. Even line 7’s sunrise is a symbol of the new beginning. Frost uses symbolism in the poem’s beginning and ending to introduce his theme. He also keeps the important, underlying metaphors intact throughout.

Frost also uses a strong rhythm in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” to make a distinct sound and to add a little irony. Frost uses a rhythmic, regular pattern throughout the poem to create a cadence that is almost like a nursery rhyme (Little). Frost partially explains this by using four rhyming verses (two lines of the same length and joined together by rhyme) in the poem. The whole poem has a sort-of sing-songy effect due to the presence of an end rhyme. Lines 1 and 2 are an example of this rhyme pattern. Line 1 ends with “gold”, while line 2 ends with “hold.” This is a perfect rhyming arrangement. It occurs when the last vowel and consonant sounds in two or more lines are identical. The seriousness of the poem (Little) makes this childlike modulation a little ironic. A trend that can also be called end-stopped is the fact that all lines contain complete phrases. These lines are also used to create the consistent beat throughout the work. Frost’s use of a well-defined rhythm, almost lyrical, until the end creates an unforgettable sound that is memorable.

Robert Frost uses multiple writing techniques in his poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” to convey his message about entropy, death, and the importance of cherishing what you have, because they will soon be gone. Everything has a time and nothing lasts forever. Things change in a flash of an eye. It is important not to take the people, experiences, and things we treasure for granted. Like the sun rising or the fresh leaves on the trees, beauty will fade over time. So enjoy the beauty while you can.


  • seanevans

    Sean Evans is a 29-year-old school teacher and blogger who resides in Utah. Sean is an advocate for education and believes that every child has the right to a quality education. In addition to teaching, Sean also enjoys writing and has a blog where he discusses various topics related to education. Sean is an active member of the community and is always looking for ways to help others.