Summary of the Poem “The Telephone” by Robert Frost


Robert Frost is considered the purest classical poet of America. His voice has been recognised as the voice of New England. His poems celebrate the countryside of New Hampshire. His poetry also expresses his love of the simple rustics.

Sometimes his poetry has a metaphysical appeal. Though he is interested in abstractions, he expresses his idea through concrete images. His philosophical tone does not affect the lyri­cism of his poetry, but it givers a calm glow. His nature poems do not just present the manifold charms of nature. He found in them a greater signifi­cance. He views natural objects as symbols that have curious bearings on man and his life.

The poem, “The Telephone” has a philosophical tone. He finds a flower as the medium of communication between God and himself. Tele­phone is a device that establishes contact with persons at distant places. It is done easily and quickly the flower with its cup and stalk looks like a telephone receiver. Through that flower-telephone the poet receives the message of God.


The poem highlights the significance of nature. Once, at the end of his routine life, the poet came in close contact with a Mower it sug­gests that a person can develop love for nature only when he is out of his ordinary life. The Mower was in a vase kept on the window sill It was a silent hour In a silent atmosphere only communion with nature can he established. Suddenly he heard the voice of Clod from that flower-

When leaning with my head against a flower

I heard you talk.”

The poet talks directly to God. He is not very sure of the exact word of God. The situation is made dramatic when the poet asks God to repeal what he said to him over the flower-telephone:


“Do you remember what it was you said?” The poet fails to recall the exact word of God. In doubt he asks God if he called out his name He tries to think of something else as the ‘word of God. At last he recollects He says that God asked him to come. He bowed down his head to that call of God.

But God clarifies that he has not uttered any word to him. It might have been his silent desire to call him. God is so powerful that his silent wishes are also carried out-

“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”

The poet feels happy and grateful that he has come there in obe­dience to the silent indication of God


Thus the, poem develops God-man relationship. It points to God’s loving remembrance and care for His creation. It is a typical poem of Frost, because an ordinary experience of life is turned into extraordinary. The poem is in the form of a conversation between the poet and God.

Simplicity is the main charm of this poem. Every word counts. Each word somehow is made to add to the mood of the poem In Frost’s hand poetry is really brought into harmony with the spoken word.

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