1. Avoided topical subject matter
2. Did NOT write about problems deriving from urbanization
and mechanization of 20th century
3. Did NOT write about modern cities and problems they
4. He investigated basic themes of man's life: the individual's
relationship to himself
5. Called himself a "synechodochist": One who relates the part
to the whole (e.g. one man's experience representing all men)
6. Man needs to become aware of his position in the life cycle,
so  many poems deal with spring and autumn (birth and death)
7. Uses scenes of harvest and mowing and abandoned
buildings to reinforce the motif of the mutability of life.
8. What cannot be altered must be understood and accepted
9. When life shatters, one must piece together the shards
10. Man must fight against fear and dark forces to keep his
11. Imperfect man operates in an imperfect universe
12. Uses nature to teach man his limitations
13. Men draw together for mutual comfort-all men are isolated
on this planet and fear lonliness
14. there is an overwhelming presence of nature in his poetry
15. Does not romanticize natur; it can destroy, disappoint,
frustrate, batter and thward, but it teaches

1. Most poems are short, frequently written in quatrain (4-line
2. The simplicity of his style matches the simplicity of the
3. Uses iambic foot because it is closest to natural speech
4. Wrote frequently in sonnet style (however, he used the form
freely and made changes)
5. Dramatic narratives (he was the master) are written in blank
verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)
6. Sometimes he wrote more freely, but never with the free
verse of Whitman; he advocates the primacy of thought over
7. Did not coin new words
8. Delinates the immediate environment  with carefully
observed detial
9. Like Emerson, he drew images and metaphors from nature
because nature is a gigantic interlocking complex of symbols
10. Movement of poem frequently goes from a description of
the event in nature to a direct statement of the universal
meaning towards the end
11. Begins with delight and ends with wisdom
Student Guide To Robert