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Nothing Gold Can Stay -- Robert Frost

Guest poem submitted by Gopal Shenoy:
(Poem #1012) 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.
-- Robert Frost
I love this poem. This poem not only applies to nature as can be seen in the
lines, but also to life in general. It describes the ups and downs in life
pretty well.

This poem was used very effectively in the movie 'The Outsiders', based on a
book by S.E. Hinton. If you get a chance, get hold of the song 'Stay Gold'
and its lyrics, by Stevie Wonder from the soundtrack to this movie. It
complements the poem very well.


[Minstrels Links]

Robert Frost:
Poem #51, The Road Not Taken
Poem #155, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Poem #170, The Need of Being Versed in Country Things
Poem #336, A Patch of Old Snow
Poem #681, The Secret Sits
Poem #730, Mending Wall
Poem #779, Fire and Ice
Poem #917, A Considerable Speck
Poem #985, Once by the Pacific
Poem #994, The Gift Outright

80 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

MVaduch said...

.in what movie did they say this poem in ?

Jolynn Werner said...

This poem is one of the most radiant in simplistic beauty of all American poetry. The amount of depth Frost configures in eight lines would take most poets 100 pages! It is both moving and understandable to children of all ages. Thank goodness the novel, The Outsiders, has made this poem such a popular one!

Emel2616 said...

This poem can be found in the book (&movie) The Outsiders

PrincessBrittina said...

awesome poem, we did this in eighth grade english and i still luv it! it
means so much in few words. robert frost is a genius.


XxSweeTyJ1xX said...

I love this poem. It's in "The Outsiders", and I'm currently reading it in my
Language Arts [English] class since I'm in eight grade. Robert Frost is a
genius when it comes to poetry and all of his writings and I really liked how
S.E. Hinton fit this poem right in the story, especially how Ponyboy recited
it to Johnny.

Kkrzy1 said...

I love this poem. My class has read the book and has seen the movie, The
Outsiders, and we all really understood it when our teacher went over it with

dbajjj said...

i luv this poem. it's so beautiful, and I admire how someone can put so
much meaning into so little words. It really makes you think. I'm in eigth
grade, I haven't read "The Outsiders", but my friend did and since I own the
movie and she told me it was good, I watched it and when I heard that poem,
I thought it was beautiful, and I loved how Johnny explains it in the letter
for Ponyboy at the end.

XoBuTtErCuP87xo said...

there is also a CD named after this poem. It is by New Found Glory. It is
from a much earlier time in thier career. After reading the poem, the CD is much
more clear.

The Raff's said...

This poem was so deep at first i didnt get how to interpret it but i love how there is so much meaning and now i understand that we take so much for granted and dont know how different life would be once its gone. i absolutely love the book THe Outsiders we are going to see the movie next week and i cant wait.. im in 7th grade and i have never felt anythign deep liek this btu i love it


AV21Forever said...

I love this poem it has meant so much to me.
I 1st read it and saw the movies in "The Ousiders" by S. E. Hinton
and I fell in love. He descibes being new to thing like a newborn so
not subjeted to all the drama, narrow mindness etc. that you collect while
getting older the ma is a genius and has allowed me to find another would of
analyzing poetry I just wish i could be able to understand everyting he tried to
expess in that poem.


FReEzInFiRe01 said...

Movie: The Outsiders
Book: The Outsiders by SE Hinton

Rockpapermonkey2 said...

It's a well written poem and my AP English class has been comparing it to
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. We came to the conclusion that it was
about innocense and how we only stay innocent for so long. "Nothing Gold Can
Stay" would then refer to the fact that no mortal person can retain their
innocense. Frost is a very romantic poet in that he refers it all back to

Rick Fantham said...

In the book, the Outsiders, it has this poem and at the end of the book Johnny says, "Stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold." Then Johnny dies. Explain to me the meaning of these last words. Send your response to . Thanks a lot.


good guy said...

i still don get wut is this poem about can some body tell me plz i need to do a paper on it.!!!!!!!!

David Corman said...

its in the outsiders

SemiCharmed182 said...

My best friend got the phrase "Nothing Gold Can Stay" on his back 2 weeks
before he committed suicide. To me the poem represents him. He was a golden man,
everyone loved him. He was brilliant, kind, and very successful. But there was
a saddness in him, undetectable to the eye. Perhaps this poem was a cry out
to what his life was really like....

GiNaBiNa64 said...

The Outsiders is a book that has changed they way we look at
literature today. S.E. Hinton wasn't afraid to be edgy, which has paved the way
for a numerous amount of writers. As well as being edgy, she managed to
incorporate this beautiful poem into the storyline effectively, and in a way that has
lingered in peoples mind after reading it. I'm 14 years old, and literature,
as well as this book, have become a permanent fixture in my life. This poem
really makes me see how lucky i am to be young, and to treasure this time because
it only comes once in a lifetime.


Nicole said...

There is a song written by Silvertide on their Show and Tell Album called Nothing Stays. I believe its a tribute to this poem, and its one really cool song.

Danni Lim said...

i'm 26 years old, and i read this poem for the first time in the 7th or 8th grade too. to this day, it remains to be my favorite. to this day it touches me. that's the universality of frost. amazing. nothing gold can stay, he says. this is true, yet the memory of the poem and it's juxtoposition to "gold" remains. the irony grabs me.

Carla said...

this poem is one of the few that i know by heart. It just seems to say something that i relate really profoundly to. and somehow the author managed to make even something like "nothing good can last" something beatiful.great poem. And it's just small enough enough to say it in more words than i would've thought, but not so many that it becomes too much.

Rebekah Claire Doroszenko said...

The contrast between the cliched vision of progressional nature and, here,
the reality of life, fading idealistic youth, is powerful.

Rebekah Doroszenko

SweetNbeuty said...

This is such a great poem. I love it so Much. I know it line by line.
This poem means that when we have something or someone we should apreciate
it and take adventage of it, because it won't last forever. Once it's gone
we will know how much we wanted it and needed it and we'll be sorry we never
really noticed it.

SweetNbeuty said...

the outsiders. duh

Janet said...

Did you know S.E. Hinton was only a couple of years older than you when she
wrote that book? She has a bit part in the movie "The Outsiders". Of course,
now, she's much older. and wiser I'm sure.

Also, she wrote the book under her initials to disguise that fact that she's
a woman. In the 60s it was thought women were incapable of writing so well.
When she arrived on the set to film the movie they were shocked to discover
she wasn't a man.



Erin Feeney said...

I first read this poem when I was in sixth grade--nothing has moved me more than the words, and how such a small poem can have such a strong message. I also read S.E. Hinton's The Outsider's and this poem is a mind-blowing combination. This and The Road not Taken are my fav poems!!!!

--Erin <<3

Ben Rasmussen said...

hi. my name is ben. im in seventh grade and i just read the book "the outsiders" my family loves robet frost's poems. Anyway, we had a class discussion in english about the porm. this is probably 2 late, but it meanas that...
line 1 talks about when you are born. Your early and young.
line 2 means that it's fast and that u dont have much time 2 b young
line 3 means the same as line 1
line 4 means the same as line 2
line 5 means thesame thing as lines 2&4
line 6 means mothers are sad that the children grew up so fast
line 6 means the same as 2,4, &5
line 8 means the same thing as line 1&3

hope that helps
P.S. do u play ne blizzard corporation computer games? If so, e-mail me at..., i mean(this is the real 1)

Ben Rasmussen said...

When Johnny writes "stay gold, Ponyboy," it means for him to not take life to fast. Enjoy being young.
Yours truly,

help said...

My daughter died......a year later while visiting her grave I found this poem handwritten and decorated then laminated by her friend. I knew then that the grief of her young friends (she was only 16) was as much as mine. I have this poem in my heart now

walt sochacki said...

This is a great poem. I love how Johnny in The Outsiders explains at the end about what the poem means. I'm 11 years old and i memorized it the first time i read it. It only took my 2 days too. Love it so much. And the song "Stay Gold" really does compliments the poem. LOVE IT!


dark_princess_145 said...

i'm a french student and i love that movie and that poem too, i saw it when i was 13 or 14 (now i'm 16) and they made me cry but i do love american litterature
i think as most of u said that it's about innocence and in french we say 'candeur' (like innocence which is also a french word)
well, if u had some other poem to make me read, my address is or
by the way, if u like Frost, u'd probably like Baudelaire!

Gabrielle Klugman said...

I think this poem is radiant and beautiful. We were reading it in school and learning the meaning. It is so beautiful. And so true too. Nothing gold can stay!

Fani Kapolitsa said...

what's the rhyme scheme in this poem???


angel helms said...

were reading the book the outsiders i love it. all the 7th graders like it well atleast my friends do. the poem realy means alot to me because the day i read the poem with my friend she died later in a car when i hear it i cry.

Shirley McDaniel said...

I love the book the outsiders were reading it in my Language arts class sence im in 7th. We had to do a project on the poem we had to memorize it. im also doing it for a prize thats how much i like it.

~*Meranda McDaniel*~

Daniel Lee said...

This poem is great. It says so much in only a little words. I've read The Outsiders and it's use in the story is great. "Stay gold." I have to admit I was a little confused when Johnny said that. We discussed the poem in our class. Our teacher said :"Spring is so short and not too many people stop to enjoy the beauties that come in spring." I can agree with that.+

Hatlover9 said...

I think that this poem was deep in my mind that really brightened up my day.

Teresa Watkins said...

Great 7th grade son is reading it for his poetry unit performance....I was first introduced to this poem by the author S.E. Hinton in her book The Outsiders in 1983!


Carson Homuth said...

the outsiders

ella rousseau said...

hay, well.. i seen your ''the outsiders, and im reading it too:) '' .. i liked the poem as well. its great.

you could add me if you have msn?

Kelly said...

I have been reading the various comments on the amazing poem, an it pleases me to see how many people know of The Outsiders. It was my favourite book and still is today, although I have to say that it pains me to see how many people still do not understand what it means. Both this poem and The Outsiders have changed my life forever. For those who think it needs to have a rhyming scheme to make it a poem, you are sadly mistaken. When my grade seven class read this book, I think I was the only one who actually understood S. E. Hinton's and Robert Frost's hidden meanings behind it all. Even though I know what this poem means, I refuse to reveal it to the public. I wish I could, and talk about it a little (I would of course be pouring my heart and soul into the keyboard) but it would just ruin it for those of you who are looking on this page for homework help. You shame me, to tell you the truth.

Stay Gold,
KaGe ?

Alexandra Dumitru said...

This poem is incredible, so true and beautiful in its simplicity, it goes straight to the heart! I just love it!
It so much makes me think of River Phoenix... May you be at peace, River!

Kay Weise said...

Do you still want comments on Nothing Gold Can Stay?


what does this poem really mean i want to under stand

enigami said...

lovely simple imagery

Randy Shaffer said...

This poem is about how transient are the precious things in life.
Exquisitely beautiful, but only for an instant, and then gone forever.

Jill Stinogel said...

this poem is awsome! i love it in the movie, "The Outsiders", since that is one of my favorite things. thank you, S.E. Hinton!

Jill Stinogel

Alex Stup said...

thanks a lot for this poem.

Anna Davis said...

I believe that this peom symbolizes Holdens innocence when he was a 'flowe and he doesn't want to let go of his innocence.

Toni Trees said...

Well, I guess I’m really out of it! I’ve always been enchanted by this, and thought it was my personal poem. I’ve never met anyone else who knew it. I never heard it in school, and haven’t seen or heard the references to it in print and melody mentioned above. But I think of it every spring when the first gold-green leaves peek out, and in what I call “the golden time”—late afternoon when everything has a golden hue. That time has always seemed poignant to me, as does the poem in its entirety (perhaps because at 60 I’m well past “nature’s first green”). However, the first three lines always remind me of the promise of spring, my beloved season, full of joy and excitement.

Peace and Joy!
Toni Trees - 780 County Road 508 - Nacogdoches, TX

Kent Campbell said...

"Hue" basically means color, in case anyone was wondering. I sure was.

A few things about the poem I haven't heard said:
-"Her hardest hue to hold,"
-"So dawn goes down to day"

The first word of each line - "Nature's, her, her, but, then, so, so, nothing"

Take out the repeats (her and so)

"Nature's but then nothing"
-nature is basically innocence, and innocence becomes lost
-nature turns to nothing, innocence is lost

then the poem ends.

Kelly L Sugden said...

Did you ever figure it out? Let me know....I'm doing a paper also.

Kelly L Sugden said...

what does the poem Nothing gold can stay mean?

Glenn Holder said...

I love this poem i am reading this in my 8th grade LA class. I love this poem.

Shelley Cardiel said...

I thought the poem represented the seasonal cycle. I like how they used
gold to describe the natures colors. It rhymed really well.

Shelley Cardiel said...

I thought the poem represented the seasonal cycle. I like how they used
gold to describe the natures colors. It ryhmed realy well


Robert Weber said...

This poem was confusing at first and then I read about it and I realized
that it's a metaphor for several things. It's telling how nature worsens
over time; the plants loose their gold and wilt. The gold color doesn't stay
very long which could be a metaphor for real gold because gold brings wealth
which also doesn't stay very long.

Robert Weber said...

This poem was very confusing at first but then I realized that it actually
was a metaphor for several different things. Its telling you how plants die
after time and they loose their gold color and their flowers don't last very
long. It is also a metaphor for real gold. Gold makes you wealthy and wealth
may not last very long just like the color gold on the leaves.


Kay Udeschini said...

I enjoyed reading this poem- the first two lines express how the beauty of
youth is so precious in that you cannot hold onto it forever. The next two
further stress this idea. In summation, I liked how the poem used nature to
describe an inevitable truth- nothing can be as beautiful as it once was.
Beauty continuously changes into the initial fresh, naked beauty of youth no
longer shows its face. But, not to worry- though not the same, the sun will
rise again. As will spring come again and flowers bloom again. Beauty
disappears as frequently as it reappears.


michael.s.chang said...

From Michael Chang

This poem desribes the essence of time in our lives. It describes the innocent chilhood period of time, and compares it to nature. Even though it is described in a mere eight lines, it completly portrays the "golden age" of a person.

ellislblk said...

omg! thats is so sad! im sorry

Charl Uys said...

The line 'Nature's first green is gold' is quoted in the movie The
Assassin (aka Point of no return) by Anne Bancroft. The movie features
Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, and Dermot Mulroney. What a beautiful
poem that captures life and nature so wonderfully.


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Frank said...

Nothing Gold can Stay

Robert Frost, New Hampshire, 1923

Nature's first green is gold,
---Dawn is Natures first.
---Dawn's first light on a leaf
---turns it gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
---The sun only has that effect
---at the short lived dawn.
Her early leaf's a flower;
---Dawn turns the leaf magically gold.
---For a short while it
---transforms it into a flower
But only so an hour.
---The dawn only lasts an hour
---It is short lived
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
---And when it is over,
---the leaf will again look like a leaf
---(leaf or flower? Flower!)
So Eden sank to grief,
---because of the lowly leaf,
---they were cast out of Eden!
---(a neurotic association)
---(very, very funny)
So dawn goes down to day
---Dawn is over and has now become day
---(and the leaf is again a leaf)
Nothing gold can stay
---neurotic generalization to everything
---he was so taken with the dawn
---and it's effects and so-let-
---down when it became day
---what a wit
---he's better than Woody Allen

Frank P. Mora
fpmora at yahoo or gmail

viagra online said...

This poem doesn't have any sense... I think Robert was not thinking what he was saying adn only tried to make some rhymes.

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