So far I’ve urged you to wade in to a poem slowly, taking time to imagine and experience the images and the situation described. When do we begin to understand and think about the meaning, the bigger ideas, in the poem? Right now.
Let’s take a second look at Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” here. While focusing on the poem’s imagery in Step 3, you have probably been sensing the speaker’s mood all along. But now, let’s pause and get a fuller sense of the emotional tone of the poem, and how it uses both concrete and abstract language. Think first about what the speaker seems to feel and also what the text seems designed to make readers feel.