Summary of Going for Water by Robert Frost


Going for Water by Robert Frost

The well was dry beside the door,  
  And so we went with pail and can  
Across the fields behind the house  
  To seek the brook if still it ran;  
Not loth to have excuse to go,
  Because the autumn eve was fair  
(Though chill), because the fields were ours,  
  And by the brook our woods were there.  
We ran as if to meet the moon  
  That slowly dawned behind the trees,
The barren boughs without the leaves,  
  Without the birds, without the breeze.  
But once within the wood, we paused  
  Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,  
Ready to run to hiding new
  With laughter when she found us soon.  
Each laid on other a staying hand  
  To listen ere we dared to look,  
And in the hush we joined to make  
  We heard, we knew we heard the brook. 
A note as from a single place,  
  A slender tinkling fall that made  
Now drops that floated on the pool  
  Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

Relevant contextual information: This poem “Going for Water” was written as an apology to his wife to remind her of a moment they shared as children. The poem describes brook named Haya rock that was found near Frost’s home.

Going for Water was first published in A Boy’s Well in 1913. It figured at the end of the first three sections and it was one of only two poems the other being reluctance not to have a gloss. Many of the poems in the volume and like many of the poems in the volume it is set in a natural landscape moreover the images it presents the brook the words and the hearing of soft music are typically frosty and both in their recurrence in Frost’s Canon and in their symbolic meaning. The situation in the poem is also one of Robert Frost favorites: The speaker tells of how he and another person were once forced to go in search of a brook because there well was empty. Their quest affords them the opportunity to enter the woods behind their hoist and to stop there caught up with a feeling of exhilaration at the sight of a moonlit Sylvan scene.

Going for Water by Robert Frost

The experience is characterized as ecstatic: The couple joined the woods in making the hush, which allows them to hear soft music coming from the brook. Like “Directive” the poem alludes to the search for a spring prefiguring the leader poems more explicit reference to the archetype of regeneration through initiatory rites.

In addition, “Going for Water” could also be a metaphor for Robert Frost‘s conception of poetical inspiration as the poet himself derived it from his more complex theory of the sign of sense. The image then would be that of a poet whose auditory imagination is triggered by signs that he litter transforms into fully formed images.

Title of the Poem/ Summary 

Title of the poem “Going for Water” saw it was like a mundane task something routine but yet it takes on connotations of being some sort of means of escape and enjoyment for the boy and his companion and connotes a sense of adventure.
The children being together allows them to actually enjoy this experience and the repetition of collective terms such as ‘we’ ‘our’ and ‘us’ reinforces the connection between the children and the speaker never refers to himself in a singular term it’s always plural throughout this.

Rhyme, Rhythm structure, and form 

So this is an alternating rhyme scheme with the second and the fourth lines rhyming. It is a childlike nursery rhyme signed that comes from the poem – reinforcing the reflection on the childhood experience the childlike joy that the boy and the girl are experiencing.
 The structure there are six squadrons at sets out setting like clearly each stage of their journey.
 The rhythm is iambic tetrameter which gives it a nursery rhyme a feel to it emphasizing one of the key themes the theme of childhood and the enjoyment build-up atiast of the children’s excitement or anticipation when in the woods and drives the story of the poem forwards drives the narrative forwards. 


The imagery of escapism in the ‘forest’ – ‘without like the birds, without the breeze’ – here we can see that the boy and the girl realize that there’s a sense of freedom or escapism that they have in the woods. They realize they can hide from their responsibilities and the Mundi in reality that awaits them at home and laughing play in the woods.


Now let’s have a look at the tone so stanzas 1 & 2 you are enthusiastic the children are excited to get away from mundane tasks and retreat into nature. Then stanzas 3 they are carefree as they lose themselves in the excitement of their adventure. Stanzas 4 it becomes exhilarating as the natural environment becomes something fantastical and the release fairytale-like qualities added onto the language used. In stanza 5 there’s a sense of anticipation as they’re near their destination. And in the final stanza 6 they are still entranced by nature but there’s this acknowledgment that their adventure must end and they have to return to reality soon.

Now let’s look at poetic techniques( including imagery and sound)

 So in the first line we have well was dry beside the door so we have alliteration and we have assonance and the alliteration could be symbolic of their duty and their life their chores the fact that they need to escape from what they’re currently doing then we have we went on the next line which emphasizes their enthusiasm for the task they’re doing. There is an enthusiastic excited tune almost jubilant really and this is highlighted further through the assonance throughout the poem, that mimics the joy of the children. Door so across Brooke not lost to go no other repetition of the O’s or the repetition of quite a lot of oils actually and it’s quite a playful colloquial tone conversational narration of events. The collective pronouns such as we and/or are really important because it emphasizes the unity between the children and their lust for adventure and then we have the use of prepositions across and behind in the third line that are to the adventurous feel of the poem highlighting the activeness of their journey. And then we have the sense of mystery this idea of the unknown adding to this feeling of adventure when we have to seek the brook if still it ran and the verbage we seek emphasizes their desire for some sort of playful ask appeared. We have the semicolon Brook if still a tram that emphasizes the standard wreck and then we have this reluctance and not loft to have excuse to go and they are eager to leave their daily routine or the chores and enjoy nature and but they’re reluctant in a sense to have to actually eventually return to this reality and because the autumn Eve was fair though chill because the feeds were always the parentheses of the chill is important because it indicates that the scene is not completely fair that it’s not completely enjoyable that there is a harshness to what they’re experiencing in nature. And then we have the word because which gives the sense of ownership being in this rural setting the feeling content comfortable and see if and you can see that continued from because to the fields were are that there’s this sense of comfort in isolation. Especially through this ownership of that person on the personal through no in there that really emphasizes it or rather the collective pruning that emphasizes it then we have the alliteration of by the brook and this creates this peaceful serene song of the brook. And then we have our and the collective protonic ian team but the alliteration of woods were there and the alliteration emphasizes through reassuring comforting feeling.

 Then we have we ran as if to meet the moon and the collective prune we emphasizes the sense of unity. There’s a carefree tone imbued in these lines. Then we have a simile which creates a magical otherworldly feeling to the poem. Setting or the poem of the setting and the speaker’s experiences the alliteration and personification creates a melodic song that emphasizes there their enthusiasm.

And then we have that slowly dawned behind the trees the barren boys with like the leaves with like the birds with like the breeze and again you can see that use of acid and through it that emphasizes their excitement at going on this adventure and we also have the alliteration of Barn boys birds and breeze emphasizing the harshness of this rural landscape and the depiction of the harsh landscape though is juxtaposed to the children’s reaction to it the fact that it does bring them joy. And then the boy obviously a boy is a mean branch of a tree the repetition of with it– is really important because it does to pick this landscape of something sinister and barren it’s bereft of life and vitality. However their joy of being with one another their familiarity with each other and with the scene they’re experiencing allows them to enjoy this experience. They’re not afraid of their surroundings and there is joy to be had in isolation in a rural environment.

Within the wood, we paused and you’ve got more alliteration emphasizing their joyous reaction despite the barren and sinister landscape. There’s surgery here slows the peace and reinforces the playful interaction with the woods and the moon. Then we have the simile like gnomes which is childish but adds to the fairy-like fantasy element of the adventure that the children are going on and a child’s imagination is an evoked here. It really emphasizes that this is tool from the perspective of a child because of all this fantastical imagery.


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