“Nothing Gold Can Stay” By Robert Frost … From The Outsiders

Please watch the above video of Ponyboy reciting Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” and then answer the following questions below. You may need to use the book to read the poem a few times. Be sure to use at least one comma and one semi-colon somewhere in your response, so that I can see that you understand their applications.

What is this poem really about? (It is filled with metaphors…..look up the definition of metaphor if you are unsure of its meaning)

To what do you think the poet is referring when he says “Nothing gold can stay”?

What kind of mood is this poem expressing: happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety, etc.?

Specifically, which words from the poem do you feel contribute to the creation of this mood?

Please check the new tab at the top of the page titled “Music Videos.” Watch the first video of The Beatles and be prepared to discuss the meaning behind the lyrics in regards to the theme of friendship in the novel.

154 comments

  1. I think that the message Robert Frost was trying to get into our minds is that you have your good times and your bad times. That you won’t always be happy and that sometimes, things that you love or things you are overpretected over, go away. The world isn’t always sunny. Half the time it’s actually dark. Some people have their good days and bad days. For example, since there is gold, there are theives. The gold makes you happy. It makes you feel important. But then when someone steels it, you feel deprived and you just want to go after that person and take it back. My point is that for every good thing in your life, you have to pay for it by having bad things too. The good and the bad eventually even out and then that is the moment when you realize that your life wasn’t half bad. This poem really reaches out to people and it makes me feel the following words: happy, awake, alive, glad to be you.

    Nothing gold can stay is a metaphor that states that good things come with a price. For example, you recieve a puppy for your fourth birthday, then when you turn twelve, he dies. Life isn’t fair. It isn’t fair on purpose because if you recieved every single thing you wanted without paying for it, then you would become spoiled and never work for anything. People pay the price everyday. Most people have to work to get what they want. This is the only way to keep the world evened out and out of chaos’s way.

    The poem expresses happiness and sadness. It shows that if you focus on the positives then less negative things will happen but if the case is the other way around, then there will be ten times more negatives in your life.

    “Her early leaf’s a flower, but only so an hour” is the most meaningful part of the poem. I think that he is referring to flowers bloom and they are beautiful, but only so for a short time. It tells that you may have good moments but sooner or later there will be bad ones too.

    1. @molly15, where is the semi? Good job, but what does all this have to do with the poem? You don’t answer the prompt, be careful not to stray

  2. I think the poem is about how mother nature changes things like summer to winter and like in the morning things are so peaceful and pretty and later on they just go away and like he said nothing golod can stay.

    I think he is saying that nothing good will stay forever and that good things happen but go away, that is why you shouldnt take aything for granted and to live life to fullest and take chances and have fun.

    This poem to me starts with happiness and how everything is beatuiful and by the end
    it is gone.

    I think the title of the poem is whatmakes the mood because like he said nothing gold can stay which to me means that things will be there one day and gone the next.

  3. I think there are several morals you can get out of the metaphor. The one that stands out to me is that for every good thing, there are several bad things that follow. For me, that statement is true. The statement; “nothing gold can stay” means that usually the good things that happen, don’t happen for very long.

    This poem stands out with two different feelings, for me. It makes me think of sadness and fear. I can see both of these as being the feelings for this poem because the are sad because the killed someone; and fearful because they don’t know what is going to happen to themselves. No specific words make me feel this way because all the words put together make the feelings.

  4. This poem means that there will be good in you life, and you will have good things happen to you. But, they won’t stay forever; things are going to go bad for you. Your not going to breeze through life, you will have some troubles and hardships. Robert Frost is not saying that you should give up on life; he is saying things are going to be then get bad, but don’ give up. Even if you do feel like giving up, if you keep on working, on the other side it will pay off and be easier.

    “Nothing Gold can stay.” I think it means that all your good things are not going to last forever; that the road is going to have to end somewhere. It is also saying that the day may look good, but be really bad, and that doesn’t mean just give up. I think of it like running; if you run three miles really fast in practice, but then show up to the meet and get a worse score then just keep on trying.

    I think there are many moods that this poem has, but the two main ones are sadness and happiness. It is about sadness because it is saying that nothing good is going to stay. It trying to say you will have really happy times, but they won’t last forever.

    “Her early leaf’s a flower, but only so an hour,” These words contribute to the mood of the poem, they are saying that things that are good will last, but only for a short period. Also “So dawn goes down today, nothing gold can stay.” It is saying that you did have had a good day, it won’t be good for the rest of your life.

  5. Robert Frost was a very deep, insightful man with a beautifully worded way of looking at the world around him. THis poem is amazing. The poem is referring how nothing is perfect forever. Not things in peoples lives, not nature, not even how long night and day stay.

    Day and night, depending on your favorite, is a good analogy of this poem. I love the night, the shining stars and the bright moon. Here is my own mini version of part of the poem.

    The stars will shine, the day behind.
    The moon will glow, with sun in tow.
    The world seems once at rest; no hardship, fiend, nor pest.
    But night must end again; goodbye for now, my friend.
    And nature’s hardest game, to rise again the same.

    (I know, I’m not a poet, but I wanted to try.)

    What I mean is there is a point in your life where everything seems calm and perfect. Then, something will happen that just shatters the sense of belonging you had. Frost quotes “Then leaf subsides to leaf, and Eden sinks to grief.” This is important because most people get caught up in sorrow and self-pity for the loss of “gold,” the diference is, if the person or “Eden” will rise again and try again. Because those that continue trying might reach their golden point again, but if they don’t try, they will be stuck in “green” forever.

    I believe that the mood expressed by the poet is a combination of sadness, and remorse. He seems to be looking back on the loss of gold he might have had in his life. The loss of a loved one, or a special personal belonging.

    I don’t believe there were any specific special words in this poem, I think it’s just the complete simpicity in the words he used, that just made it so matter-of-fact and beautiful at the same time. He made his point clear because he didn’t use big words to sound fancy. He made it quite simple, and I love it.

  6. This poem is saying that nature never stays the same. This means that nothing will stay the same in life. It says that leaves grow but it only stays for a certain amount of time and it goes over and over again.

    He is referring to gold because it is something very beautiful and that it is very valuable, so he uses this to describe the following things; first he wants to show that no color will stay the same, but also that color is very valuable, and that everything changes in nature.
    In this poem, there is sadness because they want the same colors all the time but unfortunately, it doesn’t. There is also anxiety in this poem because they are kind of scared of not knowing if the same sunset will come back again.

    This quote “Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour” expresses sadness because the beautiful colors and flowers don’t stay the same for a long time. The whole poem expresses fear because they don’t know what will happen after the flower will close again and what will happen another thing happens, so this is what expresses fear in this poem.

  7. This poem looks really confusing when you first look at, but when you understand the metaphor it is a great poem! This poem is saying two things. It is saying that good things don’t last forever and they will eventually go away. For example, “Her early leaf’s a flower, But only for an hour.” That means that her beautiful leaf doesn’t stay a flower forever.Another thing it could be saying is that if you love something let it go. It won’t stay forever. Both meanings are similar.

    “Nothing gold can stay,” means that something could can’t and won’t stay forever. Nothing lasts forever. That last line of the poem says what the poem is about. That last line “Nothing gold can stay,” summarizes most of the poem.

    I think this poem portrays many things; sadness, fear, and realization. It is sad because it is saying that nothing lasts forever. It is saying something that none of us want to hear. It shows fear because the person reading it could be fearing that the thing that they lose will never come back. It portrays realization because the reader will realize that what this poem is saying is true.

    “So dawn goes to day,” means that things will go away or be lost. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes your lost things will reunite with you.

  8. I think Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” meant that nobody will have what they really want all the time. The poem also tells you that most people become depressed when they lose what they really want. This is why I never think anyone should be too happy over one thing. The next thing you know you will be down in the dumps. The more happy you are the sadder you will be later.

    Like I said earlier I think Robert Frost uses gold as a symbol for anything you really desire. The hard sad truth is that “Nothing gold can stay,” however much you want it too. You have to accept this if you don’t life is impossible.

    This poem expresses a feeling of apprehension;obviously you really wouldn’t want to lose something that you want or need but you have to expect it or else it will hit you when you least expect it.

    The word grief was the word that popped out at me. “Eden sank to grief,”was powerful because The Garden of Eden was a great paradise until it fell and it faded away.

  9. I think this poem was about how we should always appreciate a good thing when we have it. Robert Frost is saying that when we have something good, it usually doesn’t last forever. I think that maybe he is saying we all have rough times even though it may not seem that way. The poem is saying that no one’s life is easy and effortless. Some of the lines of the poem talk about how even a good or beautiful thing can eventually lose its goodness or beauty.

    When Robert Frost writes, “Nothing gold can stay,” I think he is referring to the subject of how a good thing usually won’t last forever; the exaple in the book is of a sunset. Johnny is appreciating the sunset when he states that he wishes the sky could stay that way forever. This is where Ponyboy recites the poem from memory, although he admits he never quite understood it.

    I think the poem expresses sadness or possible anxiety, but definetly not hope or happiness. When I hear this poem, I worry about the future and, I feel sad for what I may have already lost. If anyone lost a loved one, I would imagine they wouldn’t want to be reminded of this tragedy, but this poem would just bring that painful memory back.

    I feel that the last three lines covey the theme of the poem greatest. These lines read,”So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” The third to last line talks of an exaple of something great falling because nothing good can stay forever. The next line is exactly like the example in the book, showing the sadness in lost beauty. The last line is what the whole poem is about, it is saying all is gold for a while, but not forever.

  10. I think the poem really means that nothing good will stay the same and will change not always in a bad way but sometimes in a good way. Also the metafore “Natures first green is gold” means that something at first is always good but sometimes can turn out worse than you thought and will never stay.The metaphore “she will be a flower but only for an hour” means that at first something can be beautiful but can change quickly.
    The phrase “nothing gold can stay” to me means that something good never stays; also you can never keep something you cherish forever. People never stay life comes and goes. You never have the same people on earth forever.
    To me the poem is expressing sadness because everyone wants something good in their life to stay there forever but it never happens. Also fear that the next day someone or something dear to you could just vanish.
    The specific words that i thought that realated to the feeling were “so each day to greif” because they really show the sadness of the poem and how depressing it is to think about how something could just be gone in an instant.

  11. This poem; does not require a lot of wording to get it message across. It uses few words but packs a powerful insight. I have read many outstanding poems by Robert Frost, but by far “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” is my favorite. This poem is saying that in life nothing good can stay for too long. There is a beginning and an end. Nothing lasts forever.

    S.E. Hinton is a great author and putting this poem in the story ties the whole story plot together. To me this poem portrays a life cycle. In the beginning one is a child, “Natures first green is gold.” Soon thereafter one becomes a young carefree teen, but those years don’t last. “But only for an hour.” Soon one is an adult and then quickly comes old age. The dawn of life is near. “Nothing gold can stay.” I feel that the mood of this poem is sadness once we are reminded that nothing good is forever.

  12. This Poem; which was a good poem, was about things like people going away that you liked, and stuff like that. I think the nothing gold can stay part was about, thing that go away for a long time or forever. I think this poem is expressing sadness. The words that express it is “so Eden sank to grief” because grief is a sad word.

  13. To me, the poem is about how everything changes. Something can be very a lot of things; important, meaningful, and precious to you. No matter what, that won’t stay forever. “Leaf subsides to leaf” to me means that one good thing leaves to be replaced by another.

    “Nothing gold can stay” means that in the end, all the good things will leave you. More will come in the future, but nothing perfect can stay. This line puts all the meaning in the poem into four words.

    I think the poem is expressing a king of nostalgia. It explains how things were great in the past, but they have all left, they can’t stay. “Nothing gold can stay” completly fills this mood. It puts all the emotion created in the poem, and says it simply. This single like does as much for me as the entire poem, and that is a lot.

  14. I personally think that this poem is saying that when something gold comes along, you should enjoy the time that it last because everything isn’t perfect forever.

    I think this poem is expressing the sadness mood, only because its saying how nothing good can stay for ever; in this case, gold. (a metaphor for anything good)

    The words that I think contribute to this mood would be: nothing, gold, and stay.

  15. “Nothing gold can stay” I think in this poem means that everything must come to an end. It gives an example of Mother Nature. Robert Frost wrote that the morning has started, the trees’ leaves are gold, and the flowers blossom;all of a sudden, it goes away. There are going to be bad things in your life, but Robert Frost wants you to look past the bad things and to be more positive.

    I think that this poem touches on every emotion. It does show happiness in the beginning when the morning begins and the trees and flowers begin to bloom. Although, it does show sadness and uncertainty at the end of the poem when it says words like “subsides” and “sank.” It can make a person be fearful because they are scared of the dark or scared of what happens next. The powerful word selection makes this poem a classic.

  16. I believe the poem is about realizing that there will be good times, but they can’t last forever. In the poem there is a reference to nature in the first line in addition to indirect references through the words leaf and flower. I believe the poet made this connection to have the reader understand that this is the natural way life is and we can learn a moral from the poem. To me, gold as in, “nothing gold can stay,” represents good times — times of prosperity and happiness; we even make this connection in our study of history in reference to the, “Golden Age,” of a nation. Most of the greatest moments only last for a brief time such as the scene viewed by Ponyboy and Johnny, the picturesque sunsets that the entire world sees, and times of celebration. Then the world changes and we must be willing to understand that these good times can’t last forever.

    I also believe that the poem was added to the story by S.E. Hinton to express some of the significant emotions in the story. The poem reminds me of how connected the family of Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry was while their parents were alive. They loved each other, had fun together, and always got along well, but like most great times this ended in tragedy and they must be able to change, too, for the golden times can’t last forever.

    I believe the poem is lachrymose and yet optimistic. The poem seems to morn the golden times that have past, however, the poem seems to say there were great times and there will be more in the future. The poem has such voice that the poem brings the feeling that the author is beginning to accept that those times have simply past.

    The line that expresses the most feeling from the poem to me is the line, “So dawn goes down to day.” The line shows the sadness and regret that the bountiful colors that streak the sky at dawn most surrender to the relentless heat to day, and this in turn will only be followed by the dark night. In the same regard, the poem also symbolizes optimism, for after the long day and night will there not be another sunrise? Will there not be another magnificent golden time? To me there will, so all you have to do is look for the best.

    P.S. I hope you approve of my avatar since it only took me just under two trimesters, and I find that the two colors mentioned in the poem are green and gold, which just so happen to be our school colors.

  17. I think that this poem is really about great things coming and going. This poem is also about that the good things can come in life but only for a little while. The “gold” he speaks of is not the metal gold. Since the metal gold is something of great value money-wise, so the metaphoric version of gold is also something of great value but of personal value like something that you desire.

    I think that Robert Frost is referring not to the actual metal gold; he is referring to the metaphoric version of gold, such as calling something you find valuable “gold” saying it is something important to you.

    I think the mood of this poem is sadness. It talks about good things going away and time passing by. The things going away are the things that you want or need and are truly special to you personally.

    “But only so an hour” is the line that sets the mood for me. This is so because I think it shows how things happen fast and most good things only last for a small amount of time. The mood being that things can’t stay for very long especially the good things. Also when I think of things only lasting for a short time, such as an hour, it makes me sad because it can only last for so long and then its gone forever.

  18. This poem is really about the unfairness and how unbalanced life is.
    The poem is using “nothing gold can stay” as a metaphore for nothing too pleaseant can ever stay.
    I think the poem has to do with anxiety because it describes the realization of how unfair the world can be sometimes. “Her early leaf’s a flower; but only so an hour” means that things can be good but not for ever, because a leaf turning into a flour discribes something average or negative being transformed or replaced by something positive, but only for a short ammount of time.

  19. The poem is about how something perfect won’t always last so enjoy it when its there. In the Outsiders Cherry and Marcia getting along with them was like the gold, and when they said they couldn’t be seen around greasers, that represents the gold not staying anymore. The metaphor in the poem is gold because it isn’t really talking about gold; it just means anything that is good.

    I think it is expressing sadness and happiness. I think it is expressing sadness because of the thought about the gold not being able to stay and that the good thing may not be there anymore. It expresses happiness when the good thing is occurring before the gold goes away. You don’t have to worry about it going away just worry about enjoying it when its there.

    The part of the poem that shows the most feeling to me is

    Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.

    It talks about the greatness of nature and how it only lasts for a little bit. The example in the poem was it lasts for and hour.

  20. I think the poem that they talk about in the video clip is filled with quite many metaphors, because the poem meant to say that there are valuable things in life, but they can’t stay forever, but in the poem they used good vocabulary to make it sound great and bloomy. Another metaphor is “nothing gold can stay”, which means that, nothing will stay forever because everything has it’s beginning and ending, like the sunset in the video clip.
    I think Robert Frost, the poet of “nothing gold can stay” meant that what ever is precious, or valuable for you, is not going to stay for ever.
    Well it doesn’t really matter if its valuable for you or not, but nothing can last for ever, like a beautiful sunrise on an early morning.
    The poem contains all different kinds of moods; sadness because it’s sad that things can’t stay forever; happiness because some things are better to not stay than others. There is also a disappointment in this poem, because there are several metaphors that the author wrote in his poem, but as a result, he writes that all of them won’t matter because it just is that way. Mostly the poem contains sadness and disappointment, but also some happiness of course.
    I think that that the words “nothing” and a few others, would contribute to what I think the mood the poem is expressing, because that word is kind of a sad, and disappointing word. I couldn’t think of any other words than “ nothing though” but it is still a depressing word.

  21. ithink theis poem is about the fact that there are always good things in our lives, our family, our friends, people who love us, but these things can sometime stray. they can disappear sometimes and there isnt rhyme nor reason for it, its just how life works. but rest assured good things will come again. the sun will rise again, golden

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