CBSE Class 12 English - A Roadside Stand

About the Author: Robert Frost is an American poet of the twentieth century who mostly wrote about characters, people and landscapes.     

The theme of the story:

  1. The poem through the owner of a roadside stand reflects upon the life of people that are deprived and mindlessly ignored by the city-bred people. The owner wants to be accepted by the city people even if they don’t buy anything from his stand.
  2. Further, the poet also points out that growth and development are unequal in cities and villages which is why people in the villages tend to remain dissatisfied and unhappy as well.

  The little old house…..with a mind ahead 


Sped: the rate at which someone or something moves 

Dole: a charitable gift of food, clothes, or money.

Plead: make an emotional appeal.

Withering: fade

Faint: lacking conviction or enthusiasm

In this stanza, the poet describes the new shed that had been set up by the occupants of old little house on the edge or side of the road that was busy with the traffic. The owner of the roadside stand awaits if someone would stop their car to buy something from his stand. He wasn’t begging in fact he was trying to earn some money by selling fruits and vegetables. These people or this family is deprived and need the money that has been circulating in the city with the help of which city people are flourishing. 

Or if ever aside…with silver warts


Marred: spoiled

Quarts: vessel

In the following stanza the poet uses ‘polished traffic’ to describe the people who live in the city and even when they are passing through the countryside their minds are still occupied with their profession and city life. Further, he describes that even if for a moment they forget about their city life and have a good look at the landscape all they do is criticise and judge. They simply get mad about the presence of the shed their or the old rustic signs despite looking at the berries and the golden squash which is put up for sale.

Or beauty rest…keeping from us.


Moving pictures: movies.

Further, the poet continues by speaking on the behalf of the owner of the roadside stand that if they have the money with them (which they certainly do) why they act so mean towards these people and hold it so dear to them. These people are hurt because they hoped that the city dwellers will buy their produce from the stand which will generate income for their family and they will be able to live happily, simply remains a ‘trusting sorrow’ as nobody bothers about their sale and instead they want the stand to be removed as it spoils the beauty of the landscape. The owner of the stand thought that once the family has enough money they can live the life that was promised to them by the political parties.

It is in the news…the ancient way.


Beneficent: charitable or do-gooders.

In this stanza, the poet tells that there is a news that these people living in the villages or the countryside will be relocated and shifted to the city near the theatres and the store where they will be equally benefitted by the development and growth. The people who consider themselves as the do-gooders or the charitable ones simply manipulate them and accomplish their own selfish motives. The village people are misguided by the city people who teach them to sleep all day which they are not habitual of as the village people spend their day working hard.

Sometimes I feel… where it was bound.


Longing: a yearning desire.

Lurks: be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.

Squeal: long, high-pitched cry or noise.

Plow up: move in a fast and uncontrolled manner

In this stanza, the poet tells what he feels by looking at the pitiable condition of these people. They wait for a customer like a child near the open window wishing that the car stops by their stand and at least inquire the prices! He says that a car that stopped indeed plowed up the grass in order to turn around and another car that stopped simply asked about the directions.

And another to ask gently out of my pain …


Requisite: a thing that is necessary for the achievement of a specified end.

Stroke: moving your hand slowly and gently over something or someone.

The poet wants to uplift the poor countryside people from their existing pain and therefore he empathises with them because he knows that the even just enough to meet the daily needs. He thinks that these people should be put out of pain and hardships of existence. He then writes that he imagines how would he react when the next day anyone would go and gently wake him up and put him out of the pain that he feels for the people. But this might only be the temporary relief for him just like it would be for the farmers or these poor peasants.



  1. Polished traffic
  2. Selfish cars


1)A roadside stand that too pathetically pled


  1. Trusting Sorrow


‘Greedy good-doers’ and ‘beneficent beasts’ of prey.