Nothing Gold

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.

Expanded info:

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”