Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing gold can stay

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost.


Even though we haven’t seen the movie yet, Ponyboy’s rhythm when reciting Nothing Gold Can Stay can help you understand the meaning and slow down the lines.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Embed this clip in your blog (you do this by clicking Menu on the clip below and copy the URL…then paste it into your blog by clicking the little “yellow A button” when writing your post) or just paste the words and write your interpretation in a detailed paragraph. I say detailed, as students have written 1000 word essays on this poem….even more!! So think back over our discussion of the poem….think of a sunrise you have seen. What does gold really represent? Why is the leaf a flower? Is this poem uplifting? Is it meant to show us how bleak life is? What does it mean?

Not only do you have to write your interpretation you also have to comment on another students blog about their entry.

  • Please have your interpretation completed by Friday and your comment posted by Sunday 7pm. This constitutes 2 homework grades.
  • Finish reading the book by Wednesday April 9.
  • Packet due Friday April 11.

Here is an anonymous interpretation:

At first I thought it to be about the cycles in life, the changes. Maybe because I was an optimist, I wanted so badly to believe the gold could come back. Now though I think of life as going around once. The gold doesn’t reoccur with the seasons as I had once hoped. Because once you’ve lost the gold, lost the innocence the view you have on everything changes. Things become darker, because reality in its entirety has moments of bleakness. Once you’ve faded, once the gold is chipped there’s no going back. Blinders can’t take away what’s already been seen. In some respects I feel as if with the loss of my grandmother so young the gold has been peeled off of me. So I’ve tried to stay pure in the ways I can control. Who wouldn’t want to cling to gold? It’s hard in a world like this.

Bonus Points: Watch a sunrise of your own. Use your experience to help you capture the meaning of the poem. Write a poem of your own describing your Shanghai sunrise.

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