Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stopping by the Woods on the Snowy Evening in Eaton

On this day in history one of America’s most famous poems was published.  It is a poem we all have heard or recited in school and on this snowy evening it seemed to spring to life from the darkness outside my back door.

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost is a true representation of rural life down here.  Even the resurgence of horses, sleighs and farm teams has occurred with many Amish families that have taken up residence in the farms of the area.

Robert Frost's poetry to me is a unique blend of the vocabulary of rural America and scholarly prose… and by its nature appeals to poetry lovers of all variety.

Amish fishermen on Lebanon Reservoir
Frost never actually graduated from any college, though he taught at many after becoming a poet of note.  Yet he received 4 Pulitzer Prizes for his work and 43 honorary degrees from noted colleges like Cambridge and Dartmouth.

Many have tried to interpret his simple poetry... and yet I am not sure he ever wanted that done.  He loved the sound that words made and truthfully I believe that is what has endeared him to many generations.

Frost was a dichotomy, he was not born in the country he was born and raised in the city.  When his farm and writing career became a failure… he left America for England…returning only after WWI’s outbreak.  On his return he returned to the country farm life and is today considered the Mark Twain of American Poetry.

It is said that "Stopping by the Woods" was story of a true event.  It is said that after failing to get a job he was riding home to his family at Christmas on a snowy winter’s night.  As he rode home he stopped to think and to cry at his failure.   His heart was very heavy since he had no presents for his children and family.  But after being awakened by his horse’s bells he continues down the road home and... eventually into the hearts of America.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

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.

Robert Frost reading his poem..

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