Robert Frost's Poem: Nothing Gold Can Stay

by - October 30, 2013

A Vintage Nerd

I was super happy to share with you all my childhood dream come true when I meet the two actors (pictured above) who starred in The Outsiders. Today, I want to share with you a poem that was recited in both the book by S.E. Hinton and in the film version.

Before I share it, let me give you a little background on Robert Frost. The author/poet of "Nothing Gold Can Stay".

Robert Frost
Robert Frost Circa 1910

Frost was an American born poet (1874-1963) whose life although marred by constant loss and grief wrote many poems that were dedicated to the wonder and awe that living can bring. He lost both his parents by the time he was twenty-six, had committed his sister to a mental institution due to depression, and had four out of his six children pass on before him. He also became widowed in 1937 after his beloved wife Elinor passed away from complications from Breast Cancer and Heart Disease.

Robert Frost
Robert Frost on his Birthday in 1958

Even with all that heartbreak Frost when on to become one of the most famous poets of the 20th Century. He was able to depict the fragility, hopeful and hopelessness of humanity in a way that even the average non-literary person could relate to.

Although one of the beauties about poetry is that it can be interpreted in multiple different ways, I find Frost's poetry to a lot more direct than people assume it to be. But again, that's my interpretation.

There is a poignant scene in the film, The Outsiders when Johnny (Ralph Macchio) is seeing a sunset for the very first time. That is when his best friend Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) shares with him the poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay". Later on in the film, Ponyboy reads a letter from Johnny (after he passed on) that explains what he thinks the poem means. He tells Pony that he believes that Frost meant that childhood is fleeting and that we don't stay gold forever (young) so keep hold of those feelings and that excitement that childhood brings.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" was written in in 1923 by Frost. Like I said, it can be interpreted in different ways. I, myself believe in what Johnny said. To stay gold. Keep yourself refreshed and your thoughts moving and be excited about life. What is your interpretation of this poem?

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 

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2 comments

  1. I am so happy to see your new blog up. I had no idea of Robert Frost's history and the tragedies he incurred, but am so happy to have learned a little more (and am feeling even inspired enough to a little digging on my own!).

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    1. Oh thank you sweetie! He was an amazing poet and man. Yay for the digging hehe xox

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