Study Guide

Directive Exploration

By Robert Frost

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Ready to embark on a kind of magical mystery tour? This trip doesn't follow a set itinerary, that's for sure. In fact, in order to commence your journey in "Directive," you have to take a step back, way back, and return via memory and imagination to a place where you'll miraculously become whole again. See, any exploration going on in this poem is just as much about the self as it is about the world outside.

Questions About Exploration

  1. Once you're lost in this poem, what do you find? How can you tell?
  2. What might the guide mean by "becoming whole"? And how is that a result of exploration?
  3. Whose or what world are we exploring here? Is this a world we readers can understand, or does it belong solely to the speaker?

Chew on This

Any exploring going on in this poem is straight-up metaphorical. There's no mountain, no brook, and certainly no broken goblet.

This poem is very real. The speaker is telling a story of his own journey to his former home. And he's hoping you'll join him next time.

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