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IS NATURE ENOUGH? ROBERT FROST REPLIES IN “THE MOST OF IT”

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Abstract:

Abstract.

In his poem “The Most of It” Robert Frost explores whether nature alone is sufficient to satisfy human spiritual yearnings. At first pass, the poem reads like a dark statement about the absence of any higher intelligence in the natural world, and it has been interpreted this way by many, including the person who inspired Frost to write it, Wade Van Dore. However, on careful reading Frost's poem also contains a subtle celebration of nature's spiritual assets. By creating a work with two possible meanings, Frost indicates that the answer to whether “nature is enough” is in the eye of the beholder. Because much of the poem's hopeful message resides in its meter, Frost also seems to be saying that nature will be enough mainly for those who appreciate nuance and accept ambiguity. For those so predisposed, a spirituality based in the belief that “nature is enough” requires no unverifiable entity for personal fulfillment and may ameliorate environmental problems that increasingly jeopardize human well-being.

Keywords: environmentalism; naturalism; paganism; transcendence

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2005.00702.x

Affiliations: An instructor in biology at the University of Oregon's General Science program in Bend, Oregon. His mailing address is 1027 NW Trenton Ave., Bend, OR 97701;, Email: matorr@darkwing.uoregon.edu.

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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