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.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” was written by the American poet Robert Frost in 1923 and published in the collection “New Hampshire” which earned him the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry

The poem is based on the idea that nothing beautiful, fresh, or pure can last forever and uses nature and the Garden of Eden as metaphors for the cycles of life and death and the loss of innocence .
In the second half of the poem the language that emphasizes sinking or descending, describes the path of everything, which was once beautiful an pure and must necessarily end in or underground.

Niente che sia d’oro resta

Il primo verde è dorato in Natura,
una tinta che difficilmente perdura.
Il fresco germoglio sulla fronda

foglia su foglia presto sprofonda,
rimasto lo spazio di brevi ore.
E come l’Eden affondò nel dolore,

rapido il giorno sull’aurora si assesta.
Niente che sia d’oro mai resta.
(trad. L.Z.)

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” fu scritto dal poeta americano Robert Frost nel 1923 e pubblicato in una raccolta dal titolo “New Hampshire” che gli valse il primo dei suoi quattro premi Pulitzer per la poesia

La poesia, in rima baciata, si basa sull’idea che niente di bello, fresco o puro può durare per sempre e usa la natura e il Giardino dell’Eden come metafore dei cicli di vita e morte e della perdita dell’innocenza.
Nella seconda parte il linguaggio che sottolinea l’affondare o il discendere descrive il percorso di ogni cosa, una volta bella, giovane e pura, che deve necessariamente finire a terra o sotto terra.

Image – Flickr – Boston Public Library: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (The Holy Bible, ornamented with engravings by James Fittler, 1795)

61 thoughts on “Nothing Gold Can Stay

  1. I love the fresh green of early spring–it is a little pale, a little fragile, very bright, very endearing. It is true that you kind of feel that such kind of beauty will not last long. Hahaha. Nowadays I feel that a year can pass by in a blink of an eye…


  2. As always, you’ve given another great interpretation of somebody’s words, and I can understand where Robert Frost is coming from – but it is only half a story. The other half is that as someone gets older they may lose their youth, vitality and good looks, but they gain the experience of a withered old tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay is the first poem that really stuck with me growing up ❤ It’s also one of the few I know by heart. I like that you elevate it with your explanation; the idea that the beauty can’t stay and ultimately must end or descend into the ground is what I think makes the beauty worth cherishing while we do have it. Its also what makes us human, to awe in the beauty then mourn it.

    Liked by 2 people

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