Study Guide

Home Burial Summary

By Robert Frost

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Home Burial Summary

"Home Burial" starts with a husband watching his wife as she walks down the stairs. She pauses to look over her shoulder at something, but won't tell him what. He figures out that she's looking at their child's grave, in the family graveyard, which she can see through the window.

But as the husband climbs the stairs to talk to his wife, she does just about everything she can to avoid talking to her husband about their dead child. She feels trapped, and is trying to leave the house altogether. The husband tries to convince her to just talk to him, but they have major communication issues. He doesn't know how to have a conversation without angering her.

The wife, on the other hand, is so distraught by the loss of her child that she's inconsolable. She can't understand how her husband can carry himself normally when she's been so floored by the loss. The dialogue between the two begins to develop and soon covers their differing perspectives about relationships, life, and death. Still, the conflict is far from finished by the end of the poem.

The poem ends with a cliffhanger. The wife has opened the door to leave, with her husband threatening to go after her and bring her back if she goes. We're left to guess whether or not she manages to get out, and what happens to the couple.

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