In the estimation of contemporaries such as book critic Julian Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau sought to leave a legacy of influence behind him. He never saw such attention in his lifetime. Yet, he found a willing audience in Robert Frost, who began reading his works with gusto at the age of 22 and later listed Walden as one of his favorite books. Reading Frost’s own works reveals ample influence of Thoreau’s writings over Frost’s artistry—in terms of the color choices used, but also in advocating a certain view of nature, as well as the use of pagan imagery within his works. This paper examines several of Frost’s poems—“Rose Pogonias,” “Unharvested,” “The Wood-Pile,” “Tree at my Window,” “For Once, then, Something,” and “Pan with Us”—in light of Thoreau’s artistry. In order to see the connection, I first unpack the major themes of color usage, stewardship of nature, and religion found within Thoreau’s ample corpus. I then apply these themes to Frost’s poetics to determine the extent of influence.

Date of publication

Fall 12-10-2021

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Anett Jessop, PhD., Mark Sidey, PhD., Ann Beebe PhD.


Masters in English Studies