Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in the United States. Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early 20th. He used them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is one of his most famous piece which is inspirational. He wrote the poem Fire and Ice and A Roadside Stand.

Robert Lee Frost 


A Roadside Stand summary deals with the lives of poor deprived people. Furthermore, the poet contrasts the struggling lives of the countryside people with the insensitive life of the city dwellers. The city dwellers don’t even bother to ponder on the harsh condition of the roadside stand people. The city dwellers don’t think about the struggles these roadside people have to go through in order to sell their goodies. These poor people have nothing to do except wait for the passing cars to stop and purchase their products. If at all a car stops by, it is to know about directions or to make complain about something. The poet deeply sympathises with these impoverished people and feels compassion for them. This sympathy is evident in the portrayal of the roadside sheds in a poignant manner.

A Roadside Stand

In ‘A Roadside Stand’, the poet Robert Frost describes the miserable condition of the people living in the countryside. The city people who drive through the countryside hardly stop at the roadside stand nor do they care tor the people who run it. If at all they do stop, they do so to criticise the place and the people. Frost describes the lives of the poor people with pitiless clarity and with deepest sympathy and humanity. 

A Roadside Stand

The little old house was out with a little new shed 

In front at the edge of the road where the traffic sped, 

A roadside stand that too pathetically pled, 

It would not be fair to say for a dole of bread, 

But for some of the money, the cash, whose flow supports 

The flower of cities from sinking and withering faint. 

The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead, 

Or if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts 

At having the landscape marred with the artless paint

Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong 

Offered for sale wild berries in wooden quarts, 

Or crook-necked golden squash with silver warts, 

Or beauty rest in a beautiful mountain scene, 

You have the money, but if you want to be mean, 

Why keep your money (this crossly) and go along.

The hurt to the scenery wouldn’t be my complaint

So much as the trusting sorrow of what is unsaid: 

Here far from the city we make our roadside stand 

And ask for some city money to feel in hand 

To try if it will not make our being expand, 

And give us the life of the moving-pictures’ promise 

That the party in power is said to be keeping from us.

It is in the news that all these pitiful kin 

Are to be bought out and mercifully gathered in 

To live in villages, next to the theatre and the store, 

Where they won’t have to think for themselves anymore, 

While greedy good-doers, beneficent beasts of prey, 

Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits 

That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits,

And by teaching them how to sleep they sleep all day, 

Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way.

Sometimes I feel myself I can hardly bear 

The thought of so much childish longing in vain, 

The sadness that lurks near the open window there,

That waits all day in almost open prayer 

For the squeal of brakes, the sound of a stopping car, 

Of all the thousand selfish cars that pass, 

Just one to inquire what a farmer’s prices are.

And one did stop, but only to plow up grass

In using the yard to back and turn around;

And another to ask the way to where it was bound;

And another to ask could they sell it a gallon of gas

They couldn’t (this crossly); they had none, didn’t it see?

No, in country money, the country scale of gain,

The requisite lift of spirit has never been found, 

Or so the voice of the country seems to complain, 

I can’t help owning the great relief it would be 

To put these people at one stroke out of their pain.

And then next day as I come back into the sane, 

I wonder how I should like you to come to me 

And offer to put me gently out of my pain.

A Roadside Stand 2


CA Nitin Kaushik (Imaginary_Lands)

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