Gold Turns To Grey As humans, throughout our lifetime we will be faced with a moment of life altering decisions, these decisions we make will impact how we live our life. As time passes and we grow older, closer to death, it is the question of have we preserved our gold throughout the years. Poet Robert Frost challenges the act of keeping our gold in his deceptively simple poems “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and poet Edward Field’s “Icarus” demonstrates a character dealing with the loss of their gold.
In these poems Frost and Field use imagery, diction, and allusion convey that these two poems compliments and contrast each other. The Robert Frost was a remarkable poet that people today still read his work, his poems were exceptional and always left readers seeing things in a different light. The use of imagery in “Nothing Gold Can Stay” takes upon nature and how it can reflect other poems. In the poem, it is mentioned that “Nature’s first green is gold” (1) through nature imagery, Frost is creating a picture of the beauty of nature and how precious it is, in the reader’s mind.
Gold represents precious and green represents youth meaning that in our youth we are precious, thus relating to the imagery of time and how we age, we lose our beauty and our youthful spirit that makes us gold, he ends the poem with “Nothing gold can stay” (8), Frost’s word choice of ‘stay’ communicates that our beauty is only here for a short period. Also, included in the poem is allusion “So Eden sank to grief”(6), Frost references the historical tale of The Garden Of Eden, the garden was something that had extraordinary beauty, however it came to an end due to human imperfection.
Through the allusion, Frost gives an example of how anything good cannot last, just like how Eve faced the decision that led her to becoming a mortal is the same of a human facing a challenge that can end them up like Eve. Frost is not necessarily dismissing the idea of keeping our gold, “Her hardest hue to hold” (2) as he mentions in the poem, he is rather challenging the reader that it is possible, just that it will be difficult to do. Frost does accomplish with what he is conveying to the reader, due to his use of literary devices.
In the next poem deals with a character losing their gold and how unsatisfying life can be. Edward Field is a phenomenal poet that has published numerous poems, his most well-known poem “Icarus” is up for discussion on the consequences that happens in life. Field’s use of allusion is the poem, the character of Icarus is actually a historical Greek story about how Icarus was once a Greek God and has fallen. The poem is more than a Greek tale, it extends to Icarus surviving his fall and how he regrets the decision he made when he was once a god.
Throughout the poem it is well shown that Icarus drowns himself in self-pity wishing he had died rather than live the life he lives now. Additionally, Field creates a modern day setting using modern diction, ‘What was he doing aging in a suburb? ” (18) and, “But now rides commuter trains” (28), with modern diction Field deems the tale of Icarus no longer being a myth, but rather an everyday story life. This supports the idea of Icarus life being unsatisfying and in a bigger that everyday life is boring and humdrum.
Field uses imagery to generate a dull and dark contemporary image, he does that in the poem when he says “Only the feathers floating around the hat” (1), “Never dreaming that the gray, respectable suit” (11) and, “And nightly Icarus probes his wound” (21), Field’s use of weary imagery creates a world that is jaded and where one would not want to experience, yet, Icarus is caught in its grasp of failure and becomes obsessive of it. Field excellently demonstrates the aftermath of losing one’s beauty, and youthful spirit, he does this using poetic devices.
In conclusion, although these are two different poems they still compliment each other, they compliment each other due to the authors Frost and Field’s using similar poetic devices to make a story. Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” deals with the Frost challenge, if a person can keep their gold throughout their life on earth, with Field’s poem “Icarus” it is the tale of modern day Icarus who has lost his gold and in the poem it shows how bland Icarus’s life has become.
They compliment each other in a way that Frost’s poem applies to the character of Icarus in Field’s poem, unfortunately, Icarus was not able to hold his hue, Icarus became grey, and grey represents dullness which is what his life has become too. The common theme of keeping your gold is what makes the two poems compliment each other, and shows how the loss of a youthful spirit can diminish through time.