Bereft Poem by Robert Frost Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


‘Bereft’ is one of the collections of well-known poems by American poet Robert Frost. There are several ways to read this poetry, which has a menacing tone. Although the poem is not well-knitted and the events are not balanced, one may still see the poet’s isolation in this world. Despite feeling alone in his existence, the poet has a strong belief in God. The poet is clearly alone in the world, yet despite this, he doesn’t seem depressed or gloomy since he expresses his confidence in God. The poem expresses the loneliness of man living among the manifestations of nature through a bottomless idea. Nature’s components can hoard in such a way that they are completely and fiercely adverse to man. He feels completely alone, unassisted, standing naked against the harsh and harsh truths of nature during this sad and depressing minute of separation. Now is the moment for him to delve within and discover the charisma of his creator; this spiritual community then offers him positive sentiments with which to live his life. 

About the poet

American poet Robert Lee Frost lived from March 26, 1874, until January 29, 1963. Before being published in the United States, his work was first made available in England. Frost typically used settings from rural life in New England in the early 20th century to analyze difficult social and philosophical subjects. He is known for his accurate representations of rural life and his grasp of American colloquial English. Frost is the only poet to have won four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, and he was frequently recognized throughout his lifetime. He rose to the status of one of America’s few “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” In 1960, he received the Congressional Gold Medal for his poetry. Frost was appointed Vermont’s poet laureate on July 22, 1961.


Line 1-5

Where had I heard this wind before

Change like this to a deeper roar?

What would it take my standing there for,

Holding open a restive door,

Looking down hill to a frothy shore?


The speaker contemplates a familiar wind that has evolved into a louder roar. As they stand with a restless door open and look down the hill towards a frothy coastline, the speaker wonders what they are doing there. As the speaker wonders about the significance of the wind’s change and their own actions in this setting, the lines inspire a sense of thoughtfulness.


The speaker begins with a reference to the wind, providing auditory imagery that conveys a change in strength and force. The rhetorical questions, which include “Where had I heard this wind before?” and “What would it take my standing there for?”, indicate a more in-depth search for meaning by evoking reflection and curiosity. The speaker feels hesitant to seize a chance or an opportunity to change, which is represented by the restless door’s symbolism. As the speaker considers the significance of the occasion, like staring down the hill to a frothy coastline, reflection, and thoughtfulness are highlighted. The speaker’s observations and questions set the tone and environment, creating a sense of confusion and curiosity. Robert Frost masterfully employs symbolism, rhetorical questions, and imagery to invite readers to share in the speaker’s moment of reflection and wonder.

Line 6-10

Summer was past and the day was past.

Sombre clouds in the west were massed.

Out on the porch's sagging floor,

Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,

Blindly struck at my knee and missed.


The speaker portrays the passing of the day and the end of summer in these lines. Dark clouds are forming in the western sky, signifying the arrival of nighttime. As the wind increases up, leaves on the floor coil up and hiss, presumably lashing out for the speaker’s knee but missing.


The seasonal transition begins with the end of summer, signaling a change in season and setting the stage for a shift in environment and mood. Dark and gloomy skies in the west create a climate that suggests an approaching thunderstorm or heavy rain. The collapsing porch floor and the hissing leaves’ sensory images bring the setting to life and evoke a sense of movement and disturbances. The speaker’s knee, the unpredictable and uncontrolled nature of the world, as well as missed chances or close calls in life, might all be represented by the leaves missing the speaker’s knee. The image is made more vivid and richer by the use of descriptive languages, such as “sombre clouds,” “sagging floor,” and “hissing leaves,” which helps readers see and get absorbed in the situation. Enjambment increases the scene’s dynamic quality by giving the lines a sense of flow and urgency. 

Line 11-16

Something sinister in the tone

Told me my secret must be known:

Word I was in the house alone

Somehow must have gotten abroad,

Word I was in my life alone,

Word I had no one left but God.


These lines suggest that their secret must have been discovered since the speaker detects something evil in the atmosphere surrounding them. He gets the impression that someone else is aware of his isolation in the house and in life, with just God at his side.


The poem focuses on the speaker’s inner turmoil, loneliness, and faith while also examining their sense of vulnerability. The term “sinister” has a dark and ominous tone that inspires unease and dread. The speaker’s sense of loneliness and isolation makes him more afraid of being found. The word “Word” is repeated at the beginning of each line, reinforcing the sense that rumors or information are being conveyed. The speaker may be feeling vulnerable and alone, but the last phrase, “Word I had no one left but God,” shows that the speaker finds peace and comfort in his faith. The poem goes into the speaker’s psychological state, discussing concerns, fears, and emotional challenges. The first-person narrative style enables readers to empathize with the speaker’s internal conflict. The poetry leaves off key details about the secret or possible danger, which heightens the eerie atmosphere.