© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Transience Theme

The most significant meaning we can take away from "Nothing Gold Can Stay" is that, well, nothing gold can stay. Let's face it: the most beautiful things in life often have the least longevity. The poem uses the examples of spring blooms, the Garden of Eden, and sunrise to get this point across, leaving us to think about all the things in our lives that are so wonderful and so transient. Whether it's the euphoria of winning a soccer game, or the youth of our minds and bodies, we've all experienced something wonderful that has faded away incredibly fast. Ah, the inevitable bummer.

Questions About Transience

  1. What, in your life, is like the gold in this poem—something wonderful that didn't last for long?
  2. What other meanings could you give to the title if you hadn't read the rest of the poem?
  3. If you had to eliminate one of the four examples of transient things in this poem, which would it be? Which would be your last choice? 
  4. Do you agree that nothing gold can stay? Why or why not? What are some examples of wonderful things that are permanent?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The whole point of this poem is to demonstrate that the most wonderful things about life are also the most transient.

Nothing gold can stay? My foot. Hasn't Frost heard of unconditional love?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement