Robert Frost: Poems

The Most of It

In his early poem "The Rhodora," Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "If eyes were meant for seeing, than beauty is its own excuse for being." If one were to ask the speaker in Robert Frost's "The Most of It" how he feels about Emerson's quote, there would probably be two different responses. The man in the poem would disagree with Emerson, because he does not recognize the beauty of nature surrounding him. He sees the "tree-hidden cliff" and "boulder-broken beach," but does not think that their beauty is enough of a response (4-5). He feels alienated, and does not realize that "counter-love, original response" comes in forms other than human replies (8). The poem's speaker, however, has a different definition of what constitutes an "original response" from nature. He is not searching for the supernatural return of a loved one, or a higher intelligence in the natural world. The speaker's mind recognizes the response as "its own excuse for being," or simply the most that nature could give the man. Therefore, the speaker continues learning and making the most out of what he can see and understand. He celebrates nature's physical and...

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