Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening : ICSE Class 10 Questions and Answers

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

i) Name the poem and the poet. What does the poet want to say through these lines?

Answer : The name of the poem is “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. The name of the poet is Robert Frost. The poet wants to say that although there will be many temptations in life, but one should overcome them all and continue on their life journey.

ii) What makes the speaker halt at the woods?

Answer : The attractiveness and calmness of the woods makes the speaker halt there. He wanted to enjoy the snow falling amidst the deep, dark and lovely woods before continuing on his journey again. He was highly fascinated by the charms of the scene.

iii) What is the significance of ‘sleep’ in the poem?

Answer : ‘Sleep’ here refers to death, which overcomes everything in the material world. The poet wants to say that life is like a journey and there are lots of attractions on our way. We should overcome all these temptations and continue peacefully towards our final destination – a long eternal sleep.

iv) What ‘promises’ is the speaker talking about?

Answer : The ‘promises’ are the duties and responsibilities which the speaker has towards himself and others. There are many commitments and compulsions that he needs to take care of. He wants to fulfill those duties and responsibilities before embracing a long sleep, which is death.

v) What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? Why does the speaker have to go miles before sleep?

Answer :The rhyme scheme of the poem is aabb. The speaker has to go miles before he needs to complete his duties and responsibilities which he has towards his loved ones. While the speaker was enjoying the snow at the woods, he was reminded of his duties and felt that he should not waste time, but continue on his journey.

Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up the snow.”

i) Who is the speaker? Where is he right now? What does he think about the place?

Answer : The speaker is a traveller who has stopped at the woods to observe the snowfall. He is concerned that the owner of the woods might see him there at night times. But later he realises that the owner lives in a nearby village and would not come to know. He is captivated by the lovely, dark and deep woods of the forest.

ii) Why does he think he knows the owner?

Answer : He thinks that he knows the owner probably because there might be a distant recollection of faded memories that he may have met him in the past. Since the speaker travels a lot, there is a possibility that he might have met the owner of the woods sometime earlier.

iii) Why does the speaker halt at this place?

Answer : The speaker halts at this place to observe natural beauty. He gets attracted towards the beauty and the snowfall in the woods. He wants to enjoy the calmness of the environment and the dark, deep, lovely woods. The beautiful sights of nature make him forgetful of his duties and obligations.

iv) Throw light on the message of the poet as given in the poem.

Answer : The poet brings out the message in the poem that one should continue to live one’s life peacefully while fulfilling all the duties and responsibilities towards loves ones. One should try to avoid all the temptations that come in one’s way. There are fascinations and allurements in the world but they have to be resisted because there are other great things to be done.

v) What is the speaker concerned about?

Answer : The speaker is concerned that owner of the woods might see him there. The speaker is observing the woods covered with snow and feels that he might have to leave if he gets caught by the owner. But later on he realises that the owner does not reside there. The owner lives in the village, away from the nature so he will not be able to see him stopping in the forest.

Question 3 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

of easy wind and downy flake.”

i) Why does ‘He’ refer to? Why does ‘He’ give his bells a shake?

Answer : ‘He’ refers to the poet’s horse. The horse gives his bells a shake to ask its master if he has committed a mistake by stopping at the woods. The horse seems confused and surprised that its master has stopped at an isolated place where there is no farmhouse and nearby to rest.

ii) Who has stopped near the woods? Why has he stopped there?

Answer :  The speaker has stopped near the woods. He has stopped there to enjoy the snow filled woods, the wind sweeping and the sound of the snowfall. He gets attracted to the scenic beauty and forgets for a short duration that he is traveller and has to travel for miles before resting.

iii) Describe the speaker’s state of mind at the moment.

Answer : The speaker is in the most tranquil moment at this time. He feels lost amidst the snow falling in the woods and can hear the sweep of wind and snowflakes. He is so engrossed in it that the horse had to shake its bells to awaken him.

iv) Explain this line, “To ask if there is some mistake.”

Answer :  This line means that the horse wanted to know from his master whether he stopped at the woods by mistake. He was confused that the master stopped at a place between the frozen lake and woods, since there was no farmhouse nearby to rest.

v) Which lines tell you that the speaker is enjoying the place?

Answer : The lines, “The only other sound’s is the sweep of easy wind and downy flake” show that the speaker is enjoying the place. He describes the place with a sense of true happiness and feels close to nature. These lines show that the speaker is trying to listen and enjoy the sound of the wind sweeping and the snowflakes.

Question 4 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.”

i) What must the horse find queer? Why?

Answer : The horse must find it queer that the speaker halted at a place between the woods and frozen lake on such a cold and dark evening ,when there was heavy snowfall. The horse knows that they have not reached their destination and does not understand the reason why the poet stops unnecessarily in the woods.

ii) Where wast the speaker? Why?

Answer : The speaker was at the woods looking peacefully at the snowfall. He was there because he felt attracted to stop at the woods for sometime. He wanted to enjoy the scenic beauty for he seems to be a lover of nature.

iii) What message does the poet want to give through the poem?

Answer : The poet wants to give the message that our life is like a traveller on a journey. Until the final destination (death) arrives, we need to keep fulfilling our duties and responsibilities and enjoy the little moments of happiness that come in between. We should, however, avoid temptations that come in the way of our duties.

iv) Does the horse support the decision of the speaker? Give evidence.

Answer : No, the horse does not support the decision of the speaker. It finds it strange for the speaker to stop at a place where there is no farmhouse to rest. The horse, in confusion, shakes its harness bells to awaken the speaker from his state-of-awe.

v) What does the speaker think after reflecting on the woods? Do you think he is right? Give your opinions.

Answer : After observing the beauty of the woods, the speaker realises that he cannot just remain there because he has miles to travel towards his destination. He thinks that stopping by the woods will make his journey longer. Yes, the speaker is right in saying this, but small moments of happiness brighten up one’e journey and make it more memorable.