A Journey of Independence
Robert Frost’s poem, “Into My Own”, is an easily relatable poem, especially among young adults who are figuring out their place in the real world. In the poem, Frost describes a journey, both mental and physical, that the speaker longs to undertake. It is comparable to the journey taken when one finds out that he must be his own person and make his own way in the world. This poem portrays a quest, similar to that of a college-aged person, for independence and self-awareness through symbolism of a dark forest.
In the first stanza, the “dark trees” symbolize a mysterious future (Frost 1). The unknown has always been revered as a subject of fascination, so it is only fitting for someone seeking independence to look where he has not yet been. The speaker hopes that the trees, and therefore the future, are “stretched away unto the edge of doom” (Frost 4). Although this image seems dark, it is somewhat comforting to imagine an endless future, full of possibilities. This never-ending forest would provide an escape for the speaker to “steal away” and hide from reality, while finding his true self without influence from society (Frost 6). The speaker also describes himself as “fearless”, which indicates that he is bold and eager to begin his new journey, regardless of the obstacles standing in his way (Frost 7).
In the third stanza, the poem takes on a lighter tone as it switches from describing the physical landscape and impatience to begin, to considering the people in the speaker’s life. The speaker acknowledges that his journey to self awareness will be lifelong, and that once he embarks, he cannot return to his former ignorant, dependent self: “I do not see why I should e’er turn back” (Frost 9). He also expresses hope that his loved ones will follow his lead and find him when he is on his trek. This way, he can sort out those who really care and are willing to make an effort from those who are simply artificial friends. In the last couplet, the speaker assures his friends and family that they will not be disappointed by what they find: “They would not find me changed from him they knew” (Frost 13). Rather, he will be even more convinced of his beliefs and more confident in himself when his independence is fully recognized.
As a college student myself, I found this poem very easy to apply to my own life. It strikes such a chord in me, in fact, that I feel it could have been written about my own ongoing search for independence. Although I do not know what the future holds, let alone how to prepare for the adventures ahead, I am eager to find what lies ahead. I feel that I have already entered the dark, foreboding forest by attending a college nine hours away from my home. Leaving my small, square mile town and modest home in the north in order to come to a very large, southern state school was a bit daunting at first. However, I knew that it would be one great adventure, as well as a much-needed way to find independence. Being this far from home has allowed me to grow up, to take responsibility for my own actions, and to take charge of my own life. I have the power to make choices that could affect my life for a week or for several years, but I also obligated to clean up the messes I make in life by myself. I have become self-reliant, something which I can never give up. My beliefs and opinions have also been strengthened, because I depend solely on my own thoughts and experiences to form my views, rather than allowing myself to be influenced by my family and friends. In the end, I hope they will be proud of me, for I have not changed as a person, only grown into a fuller, more complete version of myself.
Original Poem: "Into My Own" by Robert Frost
Ada Tsui on November 16, 2015:
Hey ReverieMarie, I just started to read Robert Frost's poems recently, and sometimes I find it difficult to totally understand what Robert was trying to express. Thanks to your interpretation, I feel the power of his lines.
Surabhi Kaura on October 22, 2015:
Oh Robert Frost! Wonderful hub. I have been inspired by one of his lines, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."
Brandon from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2015:
Jon on March 12, 2013:
I also like your reading. You can do much more with the expressions you pick out. For example, I think you go easy by saying only that the "dark trees" symbolize a mysterious future. There's more to what the trees represent to the speaker.
Frost actually gives us lots of information about the trees. First, they are the object of a wish. They are but one wish, and maybe one of many more. The trees are dark, old, and firm. They are almost immovable. The wish is for them to stretch away, indicating that they actually don't; instead, they are a mere--mere!--mask of gloom.
The rest of the poem continues with Frost wishing to go into the vastness of the trees, and staying there.
Frost paints a picture of the poet, the thinker, the contemplater. He's not heading into mystery but into an ancient place. It is a place that may appear gloomy and foreboding on the outside, yet is rich and vast. It is a place where one only changes by growing more sure of knowledge. One otherwise remains just the same.
When Frost wrote this poem he was a youngish adult, but already in command of the voice that became his hallmark, the gentleman yankee. It's a very nice poem about starting off on the journey, the journey into poetry and knowledge. It's a poem about pursuing wishes and shaping reality into what one wants it to be.
ReverieMarie (author) from Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 24, 2012:
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it :)
Catherine Tally from Los Angeles on October 24, 2012:
Hi Reveriemarie, Welcome to HubPages! I really enjoyed this interpretation of Frost's poem. You've expressed yourself very well. :)