I absolutely am not a poetry fan but I still have a few favorite poems from what I ve heard over the years, which actually can be counted on one hand Yep There s Poe s The Raven, an oldie rock song or two, and then the rest would be an assortment of Robert Frost s works The Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Birches This book contains two of those and then several that left no impression on me I feel bad about that because I really love Robert Frost, or at least the idea of him Rural pastoral settings, woods, stone fences, walks in the snow, walks in the woods, apple picking you get the picture But some of the poems are sort of nonsensical, some are like short stories that I could not get into. I enjoy poetry and Robert Frost is one of my favourite poets This book is lovely to dip into as and when the mood takes me I have read all of his poetry in this particular book My favourite choice is predictably The Road less Travelled His clever use of imagery lifts his poems way above the ordinary. Two Roads Diverged In A Wood, And I I Took The One Less Traveled By,And That Has Made All The Difference These Deceptively Simple Lines From The Title Poem Of This Collection Suggest Robert Frost At His Most Representative The Language Is Simple, Clear And Colloquial, Yet Dense With Meaning And Wider Significance Drawing Upon Everyday Incidents, Common Situations And Rural Imagery, Frost Fashioned Poetry Of Great Lyrical Beauty And Potent Symbolism Originally Published In Under The Title Mountain Interval A Boy s Will 1914 established Robert Frost s reputation, but Mountain Interval 1916 maintained that reputation and enhanced it The book contains four commonly acknowledged masterpieces The Road Not Taken, Birches, Out, Out , The Oven Bird and a few other popular favorites, such as the amiable Time to Talk a parable of work and friendship , Mr Brown s Descent a humorous story about an unflappable farmer , and Christmas Trees seasonal haggling between the narrator and a city tree broker But there are many other poems in this collection too, almost all of them of interest I m a particular fan of the darker Frost, and so my favorites here include besides Out, Out and The Oven Bird of course An Old Man s Winter Night a grim reverie between sleeping and waking , The Exposed Nest a couple care for and then promptly forget about an imperiled nest of baby birds , The Cow in Apple Time a cow besotted, almost ruined with fruit , and The Vanished Red the tale of the murder of the last Native American in town Just as good as these perhaps better are the three sustained narrative poems It is in such longer, blank verse efforts that Frost often exhibits his greatest subtlety and ambiguity Snow, in which a farm couple spend an evening with a local preacher seeking shelter from a winter storm, is probably the simplest, but even here the man and wife s dislike of their surprise guest, combined with their natural human sympathy for him and his family, produce an interesting tension In Bonfire, a man shares the story of a nearly catastrophic fire he once set, and tells his listener that tonight he plans to take his children up a hill so that they can all scare ourselves with the fire War is for everyone For children too, he says But the best of the monologues is In the Home Stretch Here we meet a middle aged couple, apparently without children, who has just moved in from the city into the country The change seems to be the husband s idea, although the wife is reconciled to it They treat each other gently, but, although they are looking forward to this new adventure together, we also get the sense that this feels to them as if it may be their last adventure too Not only is this poem fine in itself, but it resonates with a series of five lyrics collected under the title of The Hill Wife, which is also one of the memorable pieces in this small volume Here are two of the book s memorable, though lesser known, short poems First, the melancholy inebriated cow, and secondly, the brutal accounting of the passing of the last Native American in Acton, Massachusetts THE COW IN APPLE TIMESomething inspires the only cow of lateTo make no of a wall than an open gate,And think no of wall builders than fools.Her face is flecked with pomace and she droolsA cider syrup Having tasted fruit,She scorns a pasture withering to the root.She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten.The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm eaten.She leaves them bitten when she has to fly.She bellows on a knoll against the sky.Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry THE VANISHING REDHe is said to have been the last Red man In Action And the Miller is said to have laughed If you like to call such a sound a laugh But he gave no one else a laugher s license For he turned suddenly grave as if to say, Whose business, if I take it on myself, Whose business but why talk round the barn When it s just that I hold with getting a thing done with You can t get back and see it as he saw it It s too long a story to go into now You d have to have been there and lived it They you wouldn t have looked on it as just a matter Of who began it between the two races Some guttural exclamation of surprise The Red man gave in poking about the mill Over the great big thumping shuffling millstone Disgusted the Miller physically as coming From one who had no right to be heard from Come, John, he said, you want to see the wheel pint He took him down below a cramping rafter, And showed him, through a manhole in the floor, The water in desperate straits like frantic fish, Salmon and sturgeon, lashing with their tails The he shut down the trap door with a ring in it That jangled even above the general noise, And came upstairs alone and gave that laugh, And said something to a man with a meal sack That the man with the meal sack didn t catch then Oh, yes, he showed John the wheel pit all right. Introduce your child to this wonderful poem it will help with all roads they will take in life. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel both The first lines of this collection.1916 Two years after North of Boston, but a little further from the city, seemingly Not so many conversations, short poems The increasing distance from the city s civilization seemed to me to occasion some pretty dark poetry, not all by any means, but poems about a woman s unhappy, barren life The Hill Wife , about two kids starting a fire in the forest just for the excitement of watching the burn The Bonfire , about a terrible accident, with a very hill people like denouement Out, Out , about an enigmatic what is it a murder I m not sure The Vanishing Red So these dark poems, of varying shades and intensities, reveal an aspect of the mountain culture up there north of Boston both astonishing and unpleasant.Other poems easier to read A couple long conversation poems that I enjoyed In the Home Stretch, Snow Not really any theme that I could see other than a newness of experience produced by contacts with people and with nature that are different than those encountered closer to the city Wilder, primitive, solitary too thus producing elemental emotion In some way or other I encountered these sorts of emotions in The Exposed Nest, Range Finding, The Telephone, Hyla Brook, Bond and Free, Birches, and Brown s Descent.Then there were a few that evoked a recognizable response The Road Not Taken, The Telephone, Birches, A Time to Talk, The Gum Gatherer complicated rhyming structure with a nice rhythm , and The Sound of Trees.Perhaps after all what I think is that Frost seems to surprise me from poem to poem consistently than I m used to, even given my fairly limited exposure still to poetry.some poems and comments These two the shortestA Time to Talk When a friend calls to me from the roadAnd slows his horse to a meaning walk,I don t stand still and look aroundOn all the hills I haven t hoed,And shout from where I am, What is it No, not as there is a time to talk.I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,Blade end up and five feet tall,And plod I go up to the stone wallFor a friendly visit andRange Finding The battle rent a cobweb diamond strungAnd cut a flower beside a groundbirds nestBefore it stained a single human breast.The stricken flower bent double and so hung.And still the bird revisited her young.A butterfly its fall had dispossessed,A moment sought in air his flower of rest,Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.On the bare upland pasture there had spreadO ernight twixt mullein stalks a wheel of threadAnd straining cables wet with silver dew.A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,But finding nothing, sullenly withdrewOut, Outwarning view spoiler The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yardAnd made dust and dropped stove length sticks of wood,Sweet scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.And from there those that lifted eyes could countFive mountain ranges one behind the otherUnder the sunset far into Vermont.And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,As it ran light, or had to bear a load.And nothing happened day was all but done.Call it a day, I wish they might have saidTo please the boy by giving him the half hourThat a boy counts so much when saved from work.His sister stood beside them in her apronTo tell them Supper At the word, the saw,As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,Leaped out at the boy s hand, or seemed to leap He must have given the hand However it was, Neither refused the meeting But the hand The boy s first outcry was a rueful laugh,As he swung toward them holding up the hand,Half in appeal, but half as if to keepThe life from spilling Then the boy saw all Since he was old enough to know, big boyDoing a man s work, though a child at heart He saw all spoiled Don t let him cut my hand off The doctor, when he comes Don t let him, sister So But the hand was gone already.The doctor put him in the dark of ether.He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.And then the watcher at his pulse took fright.No one believed They listened at his heart.Little less nothing and that ended it.No to build on there And they, since theyWere not the dead one, turned to their affairs hide spoiler The Road Not TakenTwo roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.That was a gleam of light amidst a night of few memorable lines, short stories in verse and indifference.May 03, 19 Later on my blog. Robert Frost s poetry has such a beautiful quietness to it and yet also is philosophical and thought provoking This collection has so many great poems which certainly you have heard quoted at least once at some point in your life A must for fans of poetry and nostalgia of an America that understood critical thinking. Forty six pages of greatnesswhen all is said and done,these poems by Robert Frostbeam like the autumn sun.Crisp under footbreathing fresh country air,in the land of Robert Frostthe trees are never bare.With the freedom of a birdjust one thing to say,his spirit and poetic beautyis always here to stay. This is a short selection of poems by Robert Frost, who was born in San Francisco, California, in 1874 Although he is considered to be one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, his first collection,A Boy s Willwas originally published in England in 1913, during the 3 short years when he lived in England, between 1912 1915 In England he made some important acquaintances, including Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke, who were both member of the group of six known as the Dymock poets For the few years just before the First World War these six poets went walking in the Malvern Hills, Herefordshire and across to Gloucestershire, discussing their poetry and reading Frost also met T E Hulme and Ezra Pound Back in the USA he went on to write many highly regarded collections of poetry, winning 4 Pulitzer prizes for poetry and was eventually awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his poetry in 1960 He died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1963.For English readers, the English connection and his English ancestry resonates, and much of the imagery used seems familiar Usually it helps to have a frame of reference to assimilate all the nuances, but it is not quite so essential with Robert Frost s work Nevertheless he is often specific and localised, using colloquial American speech, with realistic depictions of rural life, specifically those in New England in the early 20th century Frost had worked the farm for nine years while writing early in the mornings and producing many of the poems that would later become famous Ultimately his farming proved unsuccessful and he returned to the field of education as an English teacher His poetry can be read on many levels however, using these themes to examine complex social and philosophical issues He has been thought of as the poet who hides the most, while appearing simple and obvious Perhaps this explains his popularity as it is perfectly possible to enjoy the poem s imagery on a straightforward, superficial level, but there are hidden depths for those who want to find them.There follows a list of the thirteen poems in this collection, with the name and chronological order of the original collections It can be seen that they span a broad range The Road Not Taken Mountain Interval, 1916 The Death of the Hired Man North of Boston, 1914 15 The Mountain North of Boston, 1914 15 Fire and Ice New Hampshire, 1923 The Generations of Men North of Boston, 1914 15 The Grindstone New Hampshire, 1923 The Witch of Coos New Hampshire, 1923 A Brook in the City New Hampshire, 1923 Design A Further Range, 1937 House Fear Mountain Interval, 1916 The Lockless Door New Hampshire, 1923 Storm Fear A Boy s Will, 1913 Snow Mountain Interval, 1916 The Road Not Taken, the first poem in his third collection of poems,Mountain Intervalis perhaps one of Frost s most famous and well loved poems It is a narrative, with a strict metre and rhyme scheme The final couplet,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference contains a clear message that there are always two choices in life.It is also autobiographical Not many readers may know that it is a poem about the close friendship between Robert Frost and Edward Thomas They frequently took long walks together through the countryside, sometimes with the other Dymock poets As Frost himself put it, the poem isa mild satire on the chronic vacillating habits of Edward ThomasHe was amused over a familiar mannerism of Edward Thomas, who would often choose a route which might enable him to show his American friend a rare plant or special view Invariably though, Thomas would regret his choice, sighing over what he might have shown Frost if they had taken abetter directionSince they were such good friends, it vividly illustrates the importance of irony in understanding much of Frost s work For, sadly, Edward Thomas failed to see either Frost s irony or himself as the subject of the poem and despite his wife s belief that Frost never intended a serious criticism of his friend, it is thought to be a major contributing factor in Edward Thomas s decision to enlist in World War I He was killed in battle 2 years later The Death of the Hired Man comes from Robert Frost s second book of poetry,North of Boston , although it had been written earlier, in 1905 or 1906 It is a long narrative poem in blank verse, consisting almost entirely of a conversation between Mary and Warren, her farmer husband, but as critics have observed, Frost makes the prosaic patterns of their speech sound lyrical To Ezra Pound The Death of the Hired Man was Frost at his best when hedared to write in the natural speech of New England in natural spoken speech, which is very different from the natural speech of the newspapers, and of many professors Silas, an old workhand who used to help with the haymaking, had previously left the farm at an inconvenient time Now though, he had returned during the Winter, looking, Mary says as she tries to appease Warren,a miserable sightShe feels sorry for him The couple wrestle with their consciences as to what to do about the man who seems to view the farm as home, but is not welcome A major theme in the poem is that of the home or homecoming and belonging, as well as justice, mercy, friendship, guilt, age and death.The much quoted lines,Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in come from The Death of the Hired Man, although in the context of the dialogue they are said bitterly, and perhaps with a certain amount of sarcasm.The Mountain also comes from the collectionNorth of Bostonand is also a narrative poem in blank verse The narrator is staying in a village, where a large mountain dominates the sky On a walk around and towards the mountain, he meets a farmer, and has a conversation with him As they discuss the mountain, the farmer tells stories about it, and it becomes clear that he is trying to persuade the narrator to climb the mountain By the end of the poem, the mountain has been so well described that the terrain seems familiar to anyone who has walked and climbed in mountainous or hilly areas To an English reader it might convey the mountains of the Lake Dictrict, for instance The narrator has been convinced to make the climb, although the reader is left wondering whether he did so The farmer s last words are inaudible, as he has left the scene so abruptly.There are three elements, the description, the persuasiveness of the farmer, and the narrator s actions It is possibly a poem about manipulation.Fire and Ice is a beautifully evocative short poem highly structured and compact One of Robert Frost s most popular poems, it is often found in anthologies Although it was published in his fourth collection, entitledNew Hampshire in 1923, it had been published earlier in a magazine in 1920 It discusses the end of the world, matching the elemental force of fire with the emotion of desire, and ice with hate.It was partly inspired by Dante sInferno , and partly by a conversation Frost had had with the astronomer Harlow Shapley, who went on to quote it asan example of how science can influence the creation of art, or clarify its meaning The Generations of Men is another blank verse narrative poem fromNorth of Bostonin 1914 1915 Two adolescent cousins meet accidentally at the Stark family reunion They have a conversation which varies between being nostalgic and being speculative They show intellectual curiosity and an appreciation of literature with references to Shakespeare and Homer At one point they invent an imaginative character, Granny Stark, showing their sense of fun Although the poem is set in the rain there seems to be the promise of sun The poem is celebrating continuing generations, and perhaps could be broadened to represent the cycle of birth, death and rebirth for all humanity.The Grindstone, from the collectionNew Hampshire , published in 1923, is a poem about the feelings of a boy, who is reluctant to speak out in front of the man sharpening the scythe It may be metaphorical musings about death The grindstone would represent the speaker s life, having slowed down and being left out in the cold The grim reaper comes around and wants to sharpen his scythe s blade The speaker tries to help by running the grindstone faster and almost ruins the blade, which makes him laugh.The Witch of Co s also comes from the collectionNew Hampshire , of 1923 Co s is an invented county in the north of New Hampshire The inspiration for the poem is the characters in the tales of Edgar Poe who escape their incarceration or the confines of their coffins it is a macabre ghost story The narrator initially stresses the truth of the supernatural events he is about to tell, which he says were told to him by the witch and her son But the tone of his language suggests that he doesn t share their beliefs he considers them superstitious Forty years ago, they claimed, a skeleton locked in the cellar carried itself up two flights of stairs and into the attic These bones belonged to the woman s lover, whom her late husband had killed and buried under the house By the end all the narrator seemed to believe was the husband s name, because there was never any evidence of human bones in the house Frost said the theme of the poem wasmurder will out he s murder trying to get outThis treatment of women is reminiscent of some nineteenth century literature, where the repression of women, and their restriction to the domestic sphere, force them into flights of imaginative fancy, or even madness as in Charlotte Perkins Gilman s storyThe Yellow WallpaperThe reader is unsure It may have been merely a good yarn A Brook in the City again comes from the collectionNew Hampshire , of 1923 This time was a period of increasing industry and urbanisation, but in many ways the poem is timeless, and speaks to us even now Robert Frost creates and contrasts images of a peaceful brook, and a hectic city A small sewer drain of water flows through the urban city, forgotten among the tall buildings and monuments The poet muses that there used to be farmhouses there, and the little trickle was once a strong brook Both of these represent the rural landscape, and a simpler way of life before the area was urbanised An apple tree which has also been lost, and in its place is a wooden house He describes with regret that people in their greed have built over this fresh green landscape, rendering the strong force of nature weak At night the stream still flows, but a time will come when people will forget that there ever was a brook It will exist only on maps The brook, like the trees, are no longer useful in this new landscape and are converted into a useful system, then covered with dirt No one will ever know, or care, where the brook used to be the rural landscape is being destroyed in the name of progress The poet concludes that people are so engrossed in their own selfish lives, that they are unlikely to ever understand this mistake that the brook in the city also deserved a life In our self interest we have forgotten the interests of nature.Much of the power of this poem is due to its imagery and personification, such as,The farm house lingersor thebrook that heldWe feel the force of nature even with inanimate objects Phrases such as,The meadow grass could be cemented downdemonstrate both hyperbole and metaphor The grass is not literally cemented down it is a symbol for how nature is become overcome by cities This poem is strengthened further by a specific rhyming scheme, which stays consistent throughout the poem Design, fromA Further Rangeof 1937, also has a very formal structure It is a sonnet using iambic pentameter, but then the final 6 lines have a separate tight and perfect rhyming structure of their own Typically for a sonnet, it is composed of fourteen lines and develops an argument having a shift or turn in it Of the three different types of sonnets, Petrarchan, Shakespearean and Spenserian Design combines elements of both the first two The first line,I found a dimpled spider, fat and white.sets the rhythm and metre for the whole poem, and the first 8 lines or octave follow this strictly Then by rhyming the last two lines, there is a classic Shakespearean couplet or heroic couplet within those final differently structured 6 lines.This is just a superficial analysis of the structure it is possible to delve far deeper with detail But there is a reason for Frost to employ such an unforgiving structure for this poem, which becomes evident when the reader reflects on the content of the poem.It begins then, with a big white spider on a white flower, poised to eat a white moth The narrator ponders on the idea that all three might be brought together for some ominous reason, and this leads to further questions Why is this flower white, when it is usually blue Why did the spider visit this particular flower Why did the moth decide to flutter by at that specific moment The poet concludes that if it is design that brought these three together, it must be a very dark design Why would God want this moth to get eaten And in the last line he concludes that we do not know whether there is a designer, or whether everything in life is occurs in a random fashion It is typical of Robert Frost to notice a simple fact, a small detail in nature, and mull over it at length, so that he will question the very nature of creation, and begin to consider the basic questions we all want answered about life But is Frost laughing up his sleeve at the reader here First of all it seemed a deceptively simple poem about a spider, then rapidly became reflections about whether there is an intelligent design behind things, and in the end the reader becomes aware of the controlled, intelligent and contrived design behind the very structure of the poem Frost is the master of everything that he creates in this poem, down to each individual syllable.House Fear fromMountain Intervalof 1916, describes the caution or concern the narrator feels about what he might find entering a dark house at night He describes the little rituals he has, such as always making a noise, or always leaving the door open until the house was lit Is he being fearful and cowardly instead of adventurous and brave, or simply being responsible in the face of the unknown Does it in fact indicate a loss of adventurous spirit These fears are common to all of us to a degree, so perhaps this is rooted in an actual fear of Robert Frosts s.The Lockless Door is such a similar poem in both feeling and thematically, to the preceding one, that it is tempting to consider them as a a pair Actually, however, it is from theNew Hampshirecollection of 1923.The poem is said to be based on an autobiographical event Frost was extremely afraid of the dark as a child, to the point where he slept on a bed in his mother s room through his high school years In 1895, Frost was staying alone in a cottage on Ossipee Mountain when he heard a knock on the old, lockless door Being too terrified to answer the door he jumped through a window in the back and only then calling out Come in Next morning, Frost returned to the cottage to find one of his neighbours drunk and asleep on the floor.The poem The Lockless Door follows the action of the memory, but makes it less humorous than the original episode must have seemed in retrospect In the poem, he creates a ominous force outside the lockless door He sayswhateverrather thanwhoeverto emphasise the potential threat, and exaggerate the narrator s own fear of the unknown Frost uses short, stilted lines, placing the stress on the final syllable of each statement to highlight the narrator s terror.In the final stanza, Frost is gently mocking the terrified narrator and therefore his earlier self He points out the irony, that one simple knock causes the narrator to leave a safe refuge and expose himself to the New England winter He also points out that this is the first chance the narrator has had to escape his isolation, and to meet another person for a long time Rather than communicating with another person, even in an enclosed cage , he still chooses to abandon it.Yet in his panicky attempt to escape the person at his door, the narrator is in the end forced to interact with the rest of the world, inevitably escaping his own enforced isolation He feels he cannot reenter his house without knowing who is in there, so the narrator finallyalters with age , adapting and meeting others.Again, this is a highly structured poem, made up of five stanzas of four lines each Each line is very short, with only two feet per line and only one to three syllables per foot This tight metre increases the sense of panic in the poem.Storm Fear is the only one of these thirteen poems from Robert Frost s very first collection,A Boy s Will , published in 1913 in England, or 1915 in the USA.The poem paints a grim picture of a blizzard, portraying it as a raging beast that dares the inhabitants of an isolated house to come outside and be killed Wind and snow are hitting a basement window, but when the speaker taunts the storm it responds and gets angry At this point it is clear that the storm may be a metaphor, or at any rate the meaning goes beyond the literal of being stuck in a storm Frost uses many literary devices such as imagery and personification, to get his points across Early on in the poem, the narrator counts the people, saying there are two adults and a child Thus the poet is using this example to say that in a difficult situation we must first take control and see what our strengths are The poem shows how people make a determined struggle to save themselves when everything else is falling apart, ending,And my heart owns a doubtWhether tis in us to arise with day And save ourselves unaided Snow is another long narrative poem from hisMountain Intervalcollection of 1916, and weaves a story around one of Robert Frost s favourite themes.Out of this collection spanning many moods and periods, my personal favourites are The Road Not Taken, Fire and Ice, A Brook in the City and Design.
Flinty, moody, plainspoken and deep, Robert Frost was one of America s most popular 20th century poets Frost was farming in Derry, New Hampshire when, at the age of 38, he sold the farm, uprooted his family and moved to England, where he devoted himself to his poetry His first two books of verse, A Boy s Will 1913 and North of Boston 1914 , were immediate successes In 1915 he returned to the
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- Mountain Interval
- Robert Frost
- 18 June 2018 Robert Frost