A Roadside Stand by Robert Frost
-Santhosh Kumar Kana,
The poor people at the roadside stand are seen pathetically requesting to the rich (polished traffic) that pass by to give them their daily bread by buying fruits or vegetables from them.
The flow of money from the villages supports the prosperity of the cities.
If at all the polished traffic stopped at the roadside stand, they would complain about the landscape being marred by the artless way the signs are painted and kept.
The road side stand sells wild berries and crook-necked golden squash.
The poet’s complaint is not about the beauty of the landscape being spoilt but about the trust of the poor people being betrayed.
The ruling party has not kept the promise they made to the poor people.
The poet says that the govt. is planning to help the poor settle in villages close to the city, and all their needs would be taken care of but it is a false promise. They are “greedy good-doers” who outwardly proclaim to help the poor but indeed exploit them with calculations for their benefit. The poet finds it difficult to tolerate that the poor people still cherish a hope. At every roadside stand, he finds sadness, a prolonged wait for the rich to stop and buy things. Of all the traffic that passes by a few may stop for these:
To enquire the price
To reverse the vehicle
To ask the way
To ask for a gallon of gas
The polished traffic are selfish and the poet says that they should not disturb the poor any more like the politicians by giving them false hopes and promises. They should put an end to it at once. The poem ends with a note of hope where the poet says that next time he could find the poor in a position to help others in trouble.