Come In

Come In

By Robert Frost

As I came to the edge of the woods,
Thrush music — hark!
Now if it was dusk outside,
Inside it was dark.

Too dark in the woods for a bird
By sleight of wing
To better its perch for the night,
Though it still could sing.

The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush’s breast.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went —
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.

But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn’t been.

Summary of Come In

  • Popularity of “Come In”: The poem ‘Come In’ was written by Robert Frost, the most celebrated writer, and poet of 20th century America. It is a symbolic poem published in 1934 in his collection, Selected Poems. The poem deals with the speaker’s encounter with a singing bird in a forest at night. It also highlights how the natural world lures people and makes them forget their purposes. The writer’s impressive use of various poetic elements and his insistence upon realism and objectivity make this poem appealing.
  • “Come In” As a Representative of Life: This poem is about the speaker’s personal experience of going into a scary forest at night. It begins when he is present in the woods at night. In the dark and dense forest, he hears a constant singing of a bird. The bird’s singing in the darkness surprises him; he thinks the small bird is not strong enough to be in the woods at night. The poet feels it is dangerous for the bird to be in a place where predators hide at every step. He suggests that the bird should go back to its nest until the sun brings another hope for it. Ironically, the forest bears the same dangers for the speaker, but unlike the bird, he also continues his mission in the woods, ignoring all the risks surrounding him. Despite leaving the scary place, he adores the joyful singing of the bird, which further provokes him to venture into the dark and dangerous woods. The speaker did not come to this place to sing in praise of the bird; instead, he came to enjoy the night sky full of sparkling stars.
  • Major Themes in “Come In”: The tempting natural world, inner conflict, and life are the major themes of the poem. On a surface level, the poem presents a simple event, showing a person going into the dark forest to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. There, he gets captivated by the thrush’s music for some time which makes him forget the reason for his being present in the forest at night. However, on a deeper level, this short poem highlights the inner conflicts of man. The speaker beautifully explains the nature of mankind and that one can easily get tempted by the charming beauties of the world with a resultant loss of focus and attention. Though the wise get back to the track following their focus that eventually overcomes their temptation, not all and sundry can do this.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in Come In

literary devices function as constructive tools allowing the poets to enhance their ideas in their poetry. A few literary devices in this poem are as follows.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /i/ in “I meant not even if asked” and the sound of /i/ in “Far in the pillared dark”.
  2. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /l/ in “Almost like a call to come in” and the sound of /t/ and the sound /n/ in “I meant not even if asked.”
  3. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example;

“Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went —
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. Robert Frost used imagery in this poem, such as “Too dark in the woods for a bird”, “But no, I was out for stars” and “As I came to the edge of the woods.”
  2. Irony: Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. The writer used situational irony in the poem. He shows amazement when he finds a bird singing in a dark forest while he himself is present in the same thick, dark, and scary place.
  3. Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. The poet personifies the sunlight in the third stanza of the poem such as;

“The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west.”

  1. Simile: It is a device Used to compare something with something else to make the meanings clear to the readers. Robert Frost used this device in the fourth stanza of the poem to compare a bird’s singing with a call, such as “Thrush music went —/Almost like a call to come in.”
  2. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. “The woods” symbolizes the dark and sad feelings of the speaker.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in Come In

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is an analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction: The poem shows descriptive diction having metaphors and other literary devices.
  2. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. Robert Frost used end rhyme in this poem, such as “went/lament”, “hark/dark” and “wing/sing.”
  3. Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here each stanza is quatrain.
  1. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABCB rhyme scheme, and this pattern continues until the end.
  2. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are four stanzas in this poem, with each comprising four lines.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful to quote when talking about any personal experience of going to the woods late at night.

As I came to the edge of the woods,
Thrush music — hark!
Now if it was dusk outside,
Inside it was dark.”