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Poem analysis: "Nothing Gold Can Stay"

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I have to do a full analysis using The "Lucky Seven" Guide to Annotation on this poem, but its so short that I dont understand...So if you someone could please comment on the:

1. title

2. tone

3. language (diction and syntax)

4. tensions and contrasts (something vs. something else)

5. symbols

6. rhyme scheme

7. FINAL INTERPRETATION OF THE POEM

I know that alot of you like english so I would really appreciate it if you could get me some ideas :P

Poem:

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

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Okay, the entire poem is referring to nature, but obviously there are more layers. There are a number of messages that can be found in this, and the interpretations are endless! It can be viewed as a pessimistic piece, or as a hopeful warning to appreciate "gold" while it lasts... My first thought comes with the first line, after the word "green", which I immediately associate with youth.

If you can, try and put the poems lines into more general, but literal terms, (which is easy since it is so short) and then it should be less difficult to associate it or parallel it with something else!

I'm not sure if that helped at all. I think it's a great poem, but it's hard to just listen to other peoples' interpretations, because poetry analysis is such a personal thing, unique to each individual! I am happy to help though, and I'll be online tomorrow!

:P

Edited by spaceisland

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Title: Gold here means precious things - and so the title is saying that anything that is precious and good will not hang around forever but will eventually stay (so, you should appreciate precious things while you have it).

There's a whole scheme of double meaning in the poem.

Nature's first green (literally green [leaf] or as SI said, youth) is gold (precious). (But also consider the slight juxtaposition in the fact that leaves start out green and when autumn comes they turn gold. Which is why it is: )

Her hardest hue to hold. (- since eventually the gold (precious green) goes away. )

Her early leaf's a flower; (flower here, again, I think means something precious and delicate - I'm thinking of those baby leaves which appear in the spring, when there are only a few leaves on the branches, rare, thus they are precious and delicate like a flower)

But only so an hour. (But those baby leaves wil not stay forever because they eventually grow and the tree (plant, whatever) grows more leaves so that they become so common)

Then leaf subsides to leaf. (The beauty of those early baby leaves is gone since they now have grown into more common leaves and blend together)

So Eden sank to grief, (When I first saw Eden I thought of Adam & Eve when they ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge to obtain worldly knowledge ad lose their innocence, then being banished from Eden. It's like the baby leaves which eventually grow into the common leaves you see everywhere)

So dawn goes down to day. (dawn is the first beautiful sight of day, and when the sun rises you have streaks of gold in the sky so gold in the next line can mean the precious sight of dawn or the gold in the sunrise)

Nothing gold can stay. (dawn lasts only for a short time before it gives way to day)

Rhyme: aa bb cc dd - two quatrains very simple rhyming scheme, which I think reflects the simple progression of nature, methodic and predictable.

Check out: http://www.danagioia.net/essays/efrost2.htm

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Wow thanks for all the help guys, I understand the poem MUCH more now. I still don't understand why it's "nothing gold can stay", the sentence just doesnt make any sence. But I get the main meaning a lot now :) thanks.

EDIT:

Here's the "Lucky Seven" guide...

scan.pdf

Edited by ezex

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Wow thanks for all the help guys, I understand the poem MUCH more now. I still don't understand why it's "nothing gold can stay", the sentence just doesnt make any sence. But I get the main meaning a lot now :) thanks.

It's sort of like an extended metaphor for life. Nothing gold can stay aka 'nothing good in life stays'. As HMSChocolate said, 'gold' is some sort of metonomy for 'precious'. The tone of the poem begins rather positive (before line 4) and then it becomes negative.

Edited by Afterglow

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