Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
The opening lines set the psychological tone of the poem. Whose woods are these? The speaker THINKS he knows, but he is uncertain. Uncertainty is pervasive through this poem. The speaker seems at first to be referring to a local landowner on whose property the woods lie, but as the poem ultimately suggests, the woods “belong” also to darker, more impersonal forces of nature.
Some have even speculated that “Whose” might even refer to a god or impersonal natural force that is blind to the speaker’s doings.
“The woods” and “the village” create a nature vs. society juxtaposition that highlights the speaker’s isolation. This dichotomy also establishes one of the poem’s major themes: choosing between the looming irrational (the wild woods) and sensibility and responsibility. Sounds like the summer after senior year of high school.
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