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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Gold

Symbol Analysis

If you only read the title of this poem, you wouldn't necessarily know that it had anything to do with nature. Gold, after all, could just be precious metal. While the poem does end up drawing its imagery from nature, we think it's important to see that the meaning of gold is not restricted to spring blooms here. In fact, gold becomes a symbol for all that is new, young, and beautiful.

  • Title: This line is so important that, even in a poem as short as this, it's repeated. Gold here is a symbol for anything in life that's great but doesn't stick around very long. 
  • Lines 1-2: These lines give us an example of what the title is saying. Even though the first bloom of spring is gold, it doesn't stick around. Note the massive amount of alliteration of the letters G and H in these lines. What's that all about? Does it add to the meaning in any way?
  • Line 6: The word "gold" isn't mentioned here, but this line is yet another demonstration of the claim that nothing gold can stay. Eden, here, is meant to be seen as gold. 
  • Line 7: We can picture the golden hues of sunrise. The use of the word "down" to describe a sunrise seems weird, until you think that in moving from sunrise to day, the horizon becomes much less beautiful.
  • Line 8: Wait. Haven't we heard this before? Nevertheless, now that we've read the whole poem, the repeat of the title takes on a whole new meaning. This ain't about the benjamins? It's about nature and time. You know—the deep stuff.

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