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The writing on the wall

*Click on "play" arrow below to hear Robert Frost recite!

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Fire and Ice

(slower connections may have to wait a minute or 2)

 

 

Frost Warning (Favorite Frost Poems)

Heavy Frost (Frost-Related Links)

 

FROZEN TREATS

(Frozen Treats--a sampling of Robert Frost Quotes--Will ChangeRegularly)

There is the fear that we shanít prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Manófear that men wonít understand us and we shall be cut off from them.

Thinking isnít agreeing or disagreeing. Thatís voting.

Iím not confused, Iím just well mixed.

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And Iíll forgive Thy great big one on me.

You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.

Heaven gives its glimpses only to those
Not in position to look too close.

A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . . It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

 

-Robert Frost

 

Poetry Matters

 

I believe that poetry should be enjoyed by everyone, and need not be written in a complicated language only a select few can comprehend.

 

Interpretation most definitely has its place, but has all too often been misused and abused. I believe that symbolism in some poetry is good--poetry should allow for symbolism but it is not necessary. Sometimes "less is more", simplicity being the rule. A perfect example of this is Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Mr. Frost had been hounded to death about the "real meaning" of this poem, so much so that at one point he had said "I've been more bothered with that one than anybody has ever been with any poem in just pressing it with more than it should be pressed for. It means enough without being pressed." He wend on to say that the only thing the poem means is "It's all very nice here, but I must be getting home. There are chores to do." Another time when being pressed by a critic who believed the last three lines implied that Frost longed for the after-life of heaven, Mr. Frost simply shook his head saying "No, it only means I want to get the hell out of there."

 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

 

 

 Frost Warning

(An ever-growing selection of Frost Favorites)

(Lodged; Fire and Ice; Acquainted With the Night; The Onset; The Need of Being Versed in Country Things; Desert Places)

 

Lodged

The rain to the wind said,

"You push and I'll pelt."

They so smote the garden bed

That the flowers actually knelt,

And lay lodged--though not dead.

I know how the flowers felt.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

Acquainted With the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.

I have walked out in rain--and back in rain.

I have outwalked the furthest city light.

 

I have looked down the saddest city lane.

I have passed by the watchman on his beat

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

 

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet

When far away an interrupted cry

Came over houses from another street,

 

But not to call me back or say good-by;

And further still at an unearthly height

One luminary clock against the sky

 

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

The Onset

Always the same, when on a fated night

At last the gathered snow lets down as white

As may be in dark woods, and with a song

It shall not make again all winter long

Of hissing on the yet uncovered ground,

I almost stumble looking up and round,

As one who overtaken by the end

Gives up his errand, and lets death descend

Upon him where he is, with nothing done

To evil, no important triumph won,

More than if life had never been begun.

 

Yet all the precedent is on my side:

I know that winter death has never tried

The earth but it has failed: the snow may heap

In long storms an undrifted four feet deep

As measured against maple, birch, and oak,

It cannot check the peeper's silver croak;

And I shall see the snow all go downhill

In water of a slender April rill

That flashes tail through last year's withered brake

And dead weeds, like a disappearing snake.

Nothing will be left white but here a birch,

And there a clump of houses with a church.

The Need of Being Versed In Country Things

The house had gone to bring again

To the midnight sky a sunset glow.

Now the chimney was all of the house that stood

Like a pistil after the petals go.

 

The barn opposed across the way,

That would have joined the house in flame

Had it been the will of the wind, was left

To bear forsaken the place's name.

 

No more it opened with all one end

For teams that came by the stony road

To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs

And brush the mow with the summer load.

 

The birds that came to it through the air

At broken windows flew out and in,

Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh

From too much dwelling on what has been.

 

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,

And the aged elm, though touched with fire;

And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;

And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

 

For them there was really nothing sad.

But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,

One had to be versed in country things

Not to believe the phoebes wept.

 

Heavy Frost

A Brief Search of Robert Frost

Robert Frost: America's Poet

Robert Frost, Poems and Biography

Key Facts About Robert Frost

Robert Frost: Voices and Visions

A Frost Bouquet

 

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