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What is Robert Frost's "Choose Something Like a Star" about?

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Quick Answer

Robert Frost's "Choose Something Like a Star" is a plea for confirmation that man is not alone in the universe. The surprising mix of religion and science in the poem is a statement about humanity's desperation for that discovery.

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Full Answer

As explained by GradeSaver, the beginning of the poem contains subtextual religious undertones. The speaker regards a distant star as a godly entity and begs it to "say something." The speaker longs so deeply for an answer that it does not matter if the star's reply makes sense. Any answer will be a comfort and a confirmation that man is not alone amongst the cosmos.

A turning point in the poem occurs when the star replies, "I burn." With the star's response, the speaker then wants concrete scientific answers from the star, such as its elemental makeup, indicating man's deep-seated need for evidence over blind faith.

By pinpointing both religion and science in the poem, Robert Frost shows man’s willingness to turn to either system of thought for definitive answers regarding the fundamental questions of the universe. In the end, the poem concludes that the only absolute is mystery, and that mankind will nevertheless always anchor itself to something, be it a star or a god.

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