This is an explication that I did for my AP World Literature Class. I had trouble finding any real explication of this poem online, so I decided to put this up. Feel free to use this explication for a research source,or if you want to you could just copy and paste the whole thing and use that(it comes out to a little over six pages using 12, Times New Roman). Hope this helps, please leave comments if you think I left something important out or if you have any questions that I left unanswered.
“And remember how final a hush/ Then descended of old on that bush” Lines 15-16
In these two lines, Frost is bringing back the image of the burning bush and God revealing himself through that and applying it to the Mount Sinai episode. Frost uses the symbol for God’s revealing himself and brings it into the image of how quiet the people must have been at Mount Sinai. He is switching the mountain and using the bush to describe it so that it would fit the rhyme scheme better and plus it sounds more poetic. The people were so in awe and frightened by what had just been displayed to them that they couldn’t make any noise and everything was quiet except for the storm happening around Mount Sinai. The hush descending is also a reference to God discontinuing his direct revelation to people. Frost is saying that God stopped revealing himself to people through anything. This includes the life, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Frost is saying that God revealed nothing through Christ and by doing this is denying Christ’s divinity.
“God once spoke to people by name.” Line 17
This line in the final stanza is reiterating what was stated in the prior stanza about how God once talked to people directly and directly showed that he was real like the story of Moses and the burning bush. Frost is saying that he doesn’t do this anymore and even if it is written in the Bible that he did, no one who is alive today has ever been talked to by God so we can’t really know that God is real.
“The sun once imparted its flame.” Line 18
This is another sentence statement that has been mentioned earlier in this poem and it is being restated here. This statement has to do with the sun and how it drove evolution and the beginning of life, which eventually brought us here to our present state as human beings. Like the line before it, this line reintroduces something that has already been said in this poem. Another similarity is how they both are each one sentence, where earlier in the poem each stanza made up only one sentence. These two sentences are summing up the message behind the poem that there are evidences for both viewpoints on how we came to be here and how our species started.
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