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Shadow77
01-24-2008, 04:09 AM
I have re-read Frost's "The Silken Tent" recently and I have a question about it. For those who don't remember, here it is:



The Silken Tent

She is as in a field of silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost

I believe that most readers, as I do, feel the poem is about the ease of love at its peak, its lightness of being, its looseness of structure when all is right. But what do we make of "the slightest bondage made aware" ??? Why a reference to bondage at all? Is this a hint that Frost plants to remind us of the addictiveness of love, the little clues of darkness when things start to go badly, its confines when all doesn't go well? Any thoughts about this?

P.H.Delarran
01-25-2008, 09:12 AM
I see the opposite of your suggestion. I see it as evidence that love holds us safely when other events may tug and pull against us, threatening.

kdnxdr
01-27-2008, 09:26 PM
I have re-read Frost's "The Silken Tent" recently and I have a question about it. For those who don't remember, here it is:



The Silken Tent


She is as in a field of silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.


Robert Frost

I believe that most readers, as I do, feel the poem is about the ease of love at its peak, its lightness of being, its looseness of structure when all is right. But what do we make of "the slightest bondage made aware" ??? Why a reference to bondage at all? Is this a hint that Frost plants to remind us of the addictiveness of love, the little clues of darkness when things star to go badly, its confines when all doesn't go well? Any thoughts about this?


I guess I had a very different response to this poem. Sadly, I'm not a very well read person and don't know alot of his work or anything about his personal life or beliefs.

That said, I saw this as a spiritual commentary of a position that he's taken, a sort of spiritual perspective, if you will. Sounds crazy, I know.

I love to read the Old Testament and alot of the images and interactive concepts he has used directly reflect some teaching in the Old Testament. Perhaps this is a encripted reflection of his own struggle between his sacred and profane nature?

Images that I am referring to:

She is as in a field of silken tent: The church is referred to as "She", as the bride of Christ.

The field : often referred to as a place where events are played out.

tent: the meeting place between God and man; a type of the church; reference to God's spirit embodied within the church, the two becoming one and the same.

ropes: used to represent something binding as, "A three stranded cord is not easily broken".

the dew: symbolic of God's provision

central cedar pole: abiding, strong tenet of belief, as in what supports the whole.

it's pinnacle to heavenward: pointing to God

signifies the sureness of the soul: wellness

bondage : in the scriptures can be representative to "man's" being bound to either the sacred or the profane.

In the case of the poem, I see the realization that "only by one's going slightly taut in the capriciousness of summer air, is of the slightest bondage made aware" does one become God conscious.

My two.

kid

Appalachian Writer
01-28-2008, 06:44 AM
I don't think this is about love going badly. I think it's the realization that even love, lightly spent, commands its own bondage. No love is without some sort of entanglement. Love is its own bondage. As I read the piece, and no matter the conditions, love of any kind binds us to the object of our affection.

Shadow77
01-28-2008, 10:24 PM
Provocative thoughts by each of you, no doubt. I will always love the mood of the poem, its peacefulness and serenity. When I first read it, I felt nothing but lightness. In trying to write about lost love - something I think almost everyone has strong feelings about - I started wondering if The Silken Tent offered any reflections on the subject. I think it is one of Frost's finest pieces.

Magdalen
02-02-2008, 08:21 AM
The Silken Tent

She is as in a field of silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost

I think it goes something like this: The woman he loves is like a beautiful, strong, secure place he can go to and she will always be happy, at ease, to give him what he needs. And even though there are many reasons why and how she she so willingly does love him, sometimes life gets in the way (or he demands just a little too much) of their love and it makes him wonder if somehow she feels trapped.

writer friend
02-16-2008, 12:21 AM
I have re-read Frost's "The Silken Tent" recently and I have a question about it. For those who don't remember, here it is:



The Silken Tent

She is as in a field of silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost

I believe that most readers, as I do, feel the poem is about the ease of love at its peak, its lightness of being, its looseness of structure when all is right. But what do we make of "the slightest bondage made aware" ??? Why a reference to bondage at all? Is this a hint that Frost plants to remind us of the addictiveness of love, the little clues of darkness when things star to go badly, its confines when all doesn't go well? Any thoughts about this?
From Writer Friend, (married to an English Prof.)

I think all the opinions are very valid, (lthat the poem is about love, The Church, etc.,) and I am also recalling one English teacher of many years ago who suggested one other unique interpretation: That the poem compares the seemingly innocent, silken cords of a spider's ("she is as in a field" ) web ( a silken tent that gently sways at ease....etc.) to the way love catches us all unawares. That might help explain about the hint of danger in the poem. Love lures us in, we are her victims, and it is a sweet agony indeed to be endured!
Just a thought

JBI
02-16-2008, 01:56 AM
Hmm I think it is about the foundations of your life, and how even something as simple as loving someone/ loving god comes at a price, and requires attention and dedication. The tent symbolizes the wandering of the Israelites in the Torah, and the foundation of civilization. The summer points at his age (probably slightly before middle age) and his tiredness at going through his life, and working. He becomes aware of the dedication and effort required to be happy by the heat felt from the summertime, yet he seeks shelter inside the tent, thereby stating that his dedication is rewarded with comfort, security, and foundation.

Just some thoughts. I'de need to memorize this to generate a more accurate response, and I don't have the time for that.

Shadow77
02-20-2008, 05:49 AM
WOW, so many thoughtful comments...............

I believe that the "thought of doubt" is something inherent in all effective poetry. It may be why when Frost was asked "
What does this [verse] mean?",] he replied, "What does it mean to you ???"].