Contrasting Journeys

Life is a journey and everyone experiences that journey differently. Robert Frost shares his journey through poetry differently than Wordsworth does.

Robert Frost interprets life to be full of decisions that determine where you go in life. While Wordsworth portrays his journey to be full of joyful as well as sad times, and he tries to focus on the joyful experiences. “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, and “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth are different in rhyme, and tone, but they have similar imagery, personification, and rhythm. One of the differences between Robert Frost and William Wordsworth’s poems is their rhyming patterns. Robert Frost’s poem rhymes in an ABAAB pattern, and Wordsworth uses an ABABCC pattern.

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For example by looking at the words at the end of each line in a stanza you can identify the pattern Frost uses, “fair” (6), “claim” (7), “wear” (8), “there” (9), “same” (10). Each of these words fit into the A, B, A, A, B rhyming pattern. William Wordsworth pattern can also be recognized by taking a look at the words at the end of a line, “lie” (19), “mood” (20), “eye” (21), “solitude” (22), “fills” (23), daffodils” (24). In each stanza of “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” the rhyming pattern that these words create is an A, B, A, B, C, C pattern. The different rhyming patterns are just one thing thats differs between these two poems. Another difference between “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “The Road Not Taken,” is their tone.

“Cloud’s” tone is content and rather light hearted, while ” Road” has more of a grateful and insightful tone. William Wordsworth shows the tone of his poem with words and phrases like, “bliss of solitude” (22), “pleasure fills” (23), and “sprightly dance” (12). Each of those phrases are light-hearted and happy words, therefore revealing the tone to be joyful and content. On the other hand Robert Frost’s poem has a tone that reveals satisfaction and wisdom. Phrases such as these reveal the tone, “telling this with a sigh” (16), “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (20), and “having perhaps the better claim” (7).

These phrases are insightful and sound as if the writer is grateful for his experience, thus revealing that to be the tone. Frost and Wordsworth’s poems have pretty different tones to them. One of the many similarities between Robert Frost and William Wordsworth’s poems is that they both use imagery. In both poems the authors use imagery to give you a picture of what is happening. Robert Frost uses imagery in several places such as these, “two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (1), and “it bent in the undergrowth” (5).

Frost uses these visual images to make his poem come to life. Likewise, William Wordsworth uses imagery quite often in his poem, some examples of this can be found on line 4 when he says “a host of golden daffodils,” and then again on line 14, “sparkling waves in glee.” This imagery is used to give the reader a picture of his surroundings. Frost and Wordsworth both use imagery to make their poems more vivid to the reader. Another way that these two poems are alike is their similar rhythm. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “The Road Not Taken” both consist of a mostly iambic meter.

Iambic rhythm is a meter that has a pattern of unstressed, and then stressed syllables such as this passage from, “The Road Not Taken,” has, “and both that morning equally lay” (11). The bolded syllables are the stressed ones, therefore the pattern of that passage is unstressed, stressed, which is an iambic meter. Wordsworth’s poem also has a iambic meter, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (1). By bolding the stressed syllables in that passage it can be clearly seen that it has an iambic meter to it. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “The Road Not Taken” are both written with an iambic meter. Yet another aspect that these poems have in common, is that they both use personification.

Personification is giving human attributes to something that isn’t human, which both authors do. In “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” Wordsworth uses personification when he says, “the waves beside them danced” (13). Waves can’t dance because they aren’t human, therefore this is an example of personification. Robert Frost also uses this figure of speech when he writes, “because it was grassy and wanted wear” (8). Frost is referring to a path which obviously can’t want something. Frost and Wordsworth both use personification in their poems to make them more intriguing.

As we have seen, “The Road Not Taken” and ” I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” are very different poems but they still have many things in common. Robert Frost uses a pattern of A, B, A, A, B when he is rhyming in his poem, while William Wordsworth’s pattern is A, B, A, B, C, C. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’s” tone shows a feeling of contentment, and “The Road Not Taken,” shows that the writer is satisfied with the choice he made and he is grateful towards the experience. Both Robert Frost and William Wordsworth use imagery in their poems. They also both use personification at some point in their poems. Finally, The rhythm for both poems is mainly Iambic.

Everyone’s journey is unique, so venture out into the world, and see how yours turns out. Works Cited Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Elements of Literature: Third Course. Ed.

Kathleen Daniel. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2003. Wordsworth, William. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” Elements of Literature: Third Course. Ed.

Kathleen Daniel. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2003.