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Once By The Pacific

Robert Frost

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Once by the Pacific
Added by: Ellen Cutrer
I have been banging my head against the wall for days trying to figure this poem out. If anybody has an idea, please let me know. Thanks.
Added by: Dan
It is about the end of the world.
Added by: Emily
There's a lot going on here. It might be about the end of the world, but I think it is also referencing the beginning of the world, or rather, the beginning of our world -- the fall. The Pacific is portrayed with very agressively sexual masculine imagery: "low and hairy" clouds, "locks blown forwards in the gleam of eyes," and "a night of dark intent." Further, there is something wrong with the ocean: it is shattered. And it is thinking of doing something to the shore "that water never did to land before." So the poem begins in an innocent time, when this oceanic lust has never yet been pursued. Further, what follows this particular night is an _age_ of "dark intent," and rage. Enough time passes that there will be more than ocean-water broken before the end of time.

I don't think it's about the end of the world. I think it's about original sin and the world we live in now.
english poem
Added by: paco
i think this poem is about a man who runs down a tree
Once by the Pacific
Added by: Melissa
OK Emily doesnt know what she's talking about and Paco is on crack. lol... sorry guys:) This poem is about the end of the world. It has nothing to do with original sin or sexuality. The last 2 lines read, "There would be more than ocean water broken/ Before God's last 'Put out the Light' was spoken". This is refering to and contradicting what God said in the Bible, "... and God said, let there be light". The "shattered water" gives the impression that the water is corrupt and distorted. "Great waves looked over others coming in" illustrates the imenseness of the waves and how each one is larger than the one before it. "And thought of doing something to the shore/ That water never did to land before" means that there is power in the water that the land has never before experienced. In the quote, "It looked as if a night of dark intent / Was coming, and not only a night, and age", "dark intent" refers to evil and destruction. For the line to continue with, "not only a night, an age",confirms that the poem is describing an age of destruction resulting from a divine event.
Added by: Robert
i think its talking about the end of the world with the phrase "put out the light", means killing or ending something.
My point, maybe
Added by: Charles
Until you have been near the ocean when the big waves hit and feel it through the ground you are standing on it's hard to relate to the literal images in this poem.

For me it's enough that this poem reminds of the fearsome power of the ocean.

That the power of the ocean will remain until God turns off the universe.
Added by: Brittni
I love this poem. But when asked to find the theme statement I found it particularly difficult, however after reading Melissa's alayasis, it makes more sense. With the correct theme, one can find that and infinane number of proofs are there. I agree with her completly. And Emily, i believe that your theme is good as well, and if fits with some parts, but not as well as Melissa's.
Once by the Pacific
Added by: jake
Frost’s poem, “Once by the Pacific,” continues with his customary subject matter of nature. The poem is a type of Shakespearean sonnet, but with a very basic rhyming structure. The poem begins in the first line with stark use of imagery with the “shattered water,” which of course refers to the crashing waves. The next two lines continue the scene of a violent sea-shore by incorporating the technique of personification: “Great waves looked...”, “And thought...” The poem continues through the next six lines in relating the violent storm that, in literal interpretation, threatens to erode the shore. In the tenth line, the speaker views the storm as “a night of dark intent,” which relates an evil impression. The next line states that the “dark intent” would “last an age”, which gives the poem a sense of epic proportions. The twelfth line speaks of a preparation of rage, which could mean a war. The next line continues this notion with “more than ocean-water being broken,” which obviously alludes to death. The last line states that this death will come before “God’s last Put out the Light,” which is referring to Armageddon, or the Biblical end of the world.
before God's PUT OUT THE LIGHT was spoken
Added by: Susy
Just a note regarding the poem. The italicized statement "Put out the Light" is from Shakespears Othello. He speaks these words before he kills his wife who has been wrongly accused. He feels that the only way to restore his wife's innocence is to kill her.

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