“Home Burial” is a poem written by Robert Frost that appears first in 1914. Most of his poems were published from 1912 to 1925. In this poem, Robert Frost shows a very different kind of perspective.
This poem is saying about a husband and his wife. If a reader can read the whole poem, definitely will understand reality. This is a fantastic narrative poem where a couple is talking to each other.
Most of Robert Frost’s poems are based on nature but in the case of “Home Burial” Frost telling about something else that is the reality. When the story begins, the poet unfolds the story with imagination.
The Theme of the Poem
Melancholy is the central theme of this poem. Throughout the poem, the wife and the husband are being shown suffering from pain for losing their child.
In this poem, a debate comes out within the couple but they both are feeling like cursed. One more thing is, the poem’s name ‘Home Burial’ is also written in a tormenting tone that proves the pain of loosening own child.
In this narrative poem, the poet deals with a very real estate that makes the reader sad. It is a perfect narrative, tormenting poem.
Stanza by Stanza Summary of Home Burial
At the very beginning of the poem, the narrator tells that he saw her wife looking at the back more and more and she did not see the husband. After looking at the back, the narrator finds something unnatural and comes to the wife. Says her,
“What is it you see…”
Then the wife again turned to the back and her face suddenly gets dull. Previous she was in fear but now her face grown dull. Then the husband goes to the back in search of that thing but he never finds and pretends to watch the matter.
“She let him look, sure that he wouldn’t see,
So, this the words of the wife who let her husband see. ‘Blind creature’ is a significant term that prevails in the world. Many things are there we, the readers can not see but pretend to see everything.
Now the poet tells, he did seething before carefully. This is a small graveyard where the family members are being buried. From the window of the house, the graveyard can be seen where three stones of slate.
Home Burial Text
But one is made of marble and maybe that is being found by the wife.
“But I understand: it is not the stone,
But a child’s mound”
These lines are very relevant to the context. Here, he is uttering a child’s mound. And they do not know well about it. Then the wife of the narrator looking at him with a daunting look. And then the narrator is uttering,
“Can’t a man speak of his child that he’s lost?”
Maybe the father of the child is the narrator himself. Then he starts dressing and says he need to go to take fresh air. The wife moves to the door but did not speak anything.
After coming out of the house, the poet is saying that perhaps he needs to please her. Here he says,
“Two that don’t love can’t live together with
Maybe this line addressing his wife. They do not love each other but still staying together. The wife moved to the latch and says not to go through her husband already gone.
The wife is now giving a speech that she wants to get a chance and she is also like other women not exceptional.
Then the wife is saying that he dug the ground for letting the child stay there then what is about feelings. Her emotions come out in that segment as she says she always keeps on watching at the grave and ask the god for justice.
She saw the husband rumbling at the death of the child.
“‘I shall laugh the worst laugh I ever laughed.
I am cursed, God, if I don’t believe I’m
After the death of the child, she is talking like this and her whole life gets bitter. The wife is conscious of her husband’s speech that she can still remember.
The death of the child does not make any changes to the father. These lines speak that because of the grief she is getting mad. She is uttering that they are still crying for the loss.
“You- Oh, you think talk is all. I must go
Somewhere out of this house…”
In these last lines, the woman is uttering that she would like to go out of the house because it becomes poison to her and so do not want to stay with the husband.
So, she is opening the door to go far from the house and her husband asks her where she is going. Though the with never utters anything and goes away.
In this poem, the poet only expresses the sorrow of loosening the child. If the ‘child’ becomes the hope of life then the mother and father lost their hope for living.
In the last time, when the wife leaves the house it becomes clear to the readers that she has lost everything in her life.
It can be said that the father in some sections plays the role of an antagonist. The man says to his wife that she is adamant.
This is a perfect example of a narrative poem where Robert Frost portrays an image of the buried child and beside it, the mother is crying like being cursed.
The woman also asks the god for justice but God does not make any response to it. One of the critics of Robert Frost says,
“Poetry it what that reflects the true world.”
In the case of this poem, it is right.
Home Burial Literary Devices
The poem “Home Burial” is written in blank verse and there is no sign of rhyming pattern. Throughout this poem, Robert Frost uses enough of metaphors.
“No, from the time when one is sick to death,
one is alone, and he dies more alone”
Here the mother is comparing her grief with the death that is why it is a perfect metaphor.
The refrain is another poetic device that means the repetition of the same phrases in the poem like “What is it”. This term is being used in the poem more than two times.
Enjambment also comes as a rhetorical device that proves the continuation of thoughts even in the next stanza or in the whole poem.
After that comes Alliteration that means the repetition of vowel sounds in the line like,
“I never noticed it from here before,”
So, these are the main literary devices that are being found throughout the poem. This all makes the poem fantastic to the readers.
Home Burial Robert Frost Questions and Answers
What does the poem Home Burial mean?
The poem ‘Home Burial’ means Graveyard in the house.
What is the theme of home burial?
Grief is the theme of Home Burial.
Did Robert Frost lose a child?
Yes, he lost four children in his life.
When was home burial written?
The poem was written in 1914.