Whos Ghost is it anyway?
Who dwells in that old house, the place that fell to such a degree that the sunlight now hits the cellar floor? Who it is the narrator of this Robert Frost piece. Is the poem being told to use coming from, the perspective of a child who frequents the broken down home of a dead barren couple? Could it possibly be the child of the buried two? An unborn spirit who knows nothing of them except that they left him or her in the cellar. Is the character who's roaming the property an animal that feasts on sweet, sweet raspberries. The couple is also obviously six feet under, but the being that haunts the remnants of their humble abode and often resides in their cellar, might be their love existing with mother nature. Who roams those old parts, the house, the road, who is the narrator dwelling next to where the purple steamed berries grow.
A child scurrying through the trees in his big natural back yard could be the one behind the poem. In general the piece is written in a fairly childish voice. In the poem there is six stanzas each containing five lines. By the end of the third stanza we find ourselves in the dark. In the fourth stanza it feels like we are getting an explanation of what it is like to be stuck out in the forest after dark. A whippoorwill, not really a frightening bird, is written out like the narrators confrontation with the bird is a terrifying experience. The type of experience a young boy might find himself in if he decided to dwell in a sunlit cellar in the middle of the forest and eat wild berries just a little to long. After the sun falls behind the horizon the child is stuck out in wild. In the fifth and sixth stanzas a more comforting situation is presented to us. The child finds refuge under the light of the stars between the gravestones of the dead couple who lived there. Unfortunately, the boy wouldn't be able to present us with the information found in the beginning of the sixth stanza. "the two are tireless folk, but slow and sad," (Frost,19). The Narrator could possibly be a child lost in the woods that finds comfort with the dead, but he would not have the understanding to be able to present us with the type of people the couple actually were.
The title of the poem is “Ghost House”, and Frost was known to sound pleasant, he is also known to have a darker side. “Ghost House” seems to end on a good note, the narrator ends the sixth stanza, with this the last line in the poem "As sweet companions as might be had." (Frost 10) A pleasant ending to a poem that is generally dark and scary. Well Frost is know to throw the audience off with his last lines, it's what makes "all the difference"(Frost 136) in his work. The narration could be through the voice of the couples unborn child, a miscarriage possibly! A tragic incident that was hidden in the cellar, for eternity. The couples secret, and downfall. The reason for the explanation in the beginning of stanza six "they are tireless folk, but slow and sad, though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,--with non among them that ever sings,"(Frost 19), is to define that the two, never had a child, but yearned for one, possibly one that was a still born, and buried in the cellar. Unfortunately the ghost of the couples still born child would not be able to undergo the trauma that the narrator goes through in the forth stanza. A ghost would not be able to present us with a fear that evokes so much drama because the ghost of an unborn child would feel no fear, never really ever being exposed to life. This was not one of Frost dark intentions.
An animal, running through the trees of the woods, all of a sudden runs into a busted down fence, makes his way through some opening, and enters the Ghost house's vicinity, the animals smells the raspberries. He makes his way to where the house stood; he jumps to the cellar floor. Now vocabulary plays a role in accepting this possible solution. A furry little squirrel doesn't speak. Animals can however be observers that Frost possibly translated for. Animals would naturally be dwelling in a busted down house, watching fences die, walls come down, lawns grow into forest. The kicker unfortunately for the narrator being some wild animal is that the animal would not "dwell with a strangely aching heart" (Frost 18). If animals could speak I think that this could be from the viewpoint of one of the worlds furry, little friends, except for the emotional attachment that the narrator seems to build over the house and the couple. A wild animal would not be associating those types of feeling and emotions that we tie to the subjects at hand.
Something settled on that small piece of land within that forest wall, a couple, "lass and lad,"(Frost 19). Lovers, living alone, for one another in life together. The foundation, in which they existed, was together in love on the earth. The two had no children, "With none among them that ever sings," (Frost 19) but they kept their home, they created a place purely to nurture their own souls. Love dwells in that foundation, and Frost sheds light on the nature of true love and its everlasting effects. Though the lives of the two are over, the growth of their existence is still evident. The terrors of the real world, the night, still remain, yet there is comfort in knowing that their life is a mark on a stone marred in moss, remembered by mother nature. When that something settled on that small plot, it connected its self within its forest surroundings, and together the land and the couple obtain harmony.
Who dwells on that cellar floor, well it's everything that is supposed to be in nature. What Frost does in “Ghost House” is define the relationship that humans have with nature. Literally form start to finish, by exposing us to the end. Ghost house is an accurate portrayal of the how we live in nature, through love we humans live on this planet. The couple is defined as sad, yet their love and Mother Nature calls them "as sweet companions as might be had" (Frost 19). It is safe to say that the voice we hear when taking in Robert Frost's “Ghost House” is the voice of Love, the voice of Mother Nature.
Frost,Robert. “Ghost House”. Frost Poems.
Frost,Robert. “Ghost House”. Frost Poems.
Alfred, A Knopf, and John Hollander, Toronto: Random House
Everman’s Library, 1997