Glamour and style for a Guardian on the move.
Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
- Combines Frost’s attraction to details of nature with his tendency to make direct statements of theme
- Meant to addresses the fleeting nature of beauty and innocence
- Written when Frost was 48 years old, an experienced poet, whose life had known grief and family tragedy, the poem focuses on the inevitability of loss – how nature, time and mythology are all subject to cycles.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963
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.
Book SE Hinton and later film “The Outsiders”
- As he lies dying in Chapter 9, Johnny Cade speaks these words to Ponyboy. “Stay gold”
- This is a reference to the Robert Frost poem that Ponyboy recites to Johnny when the two hide out in the Windrixville Church
- One line in the poem reads, “Nothing gold can stay,” meaning that all good things must come to an end
- At the end of the book, Johnny urges Ponyboy to remain gold, or innocent due to what he has learned by years of futile fighting
- “Stay Golden Ponyboy”
The characters regularly took part in fights called “Rumbles”