Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Robert Frost: A Poet For All Seasons (Especially This One); We Happen Upon His Home in Vermont

The frozen Frog Pond on Lighthouse Hill, Staten Island. 
Somewhere along the way I decided that I had a favorite poet. It was Robert Frost and my admiration was based solely on one poem: Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California in 1874 but moved to New England as a young child where he received his education. He attended Harvard and Dartmouth but graduated from neither. He married, had six children and worked as teacher all while growing an international reputation as a poet. Asked by fellow New Englander, President John Kennedy, to recite two of his poems at Kennedy's 1961 Inaugration, Robert Frost, then an old man, ran into trouble when the sun and the wind prevented him from reading his new poem, 'The Preface'.  Frost recited his old poem, 'The Gift Outright', from memory! Frost was a kind of unofficial poet laureate of the United States and died two years after the Inauguration in January of 1963.

There is much more to his biography of course and I refer you to the web address listed at the end of this post.

Last summer, my husband and I were traveling back to new York after a stay at the Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester, Vermont (would recommend this hotel and town).
Driving off-highway on historic Route 7a, we happened upon the Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury, Vermont. It was a rainy day and I didn't want to stop. I later discovered that it was the locale where he wrote my favorite poem and I regret my reluctance to leave the car.

But in these days of never ending snow here in New York, I thought you might like to read this gem of a poem, very American...a timeless treasure. Illustrating my blog tonight is a photo taken by me in the first of my, er, two, Winter Walks. Seriously, I'm really trying!

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Written in 1923

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.

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