Monday, June 25, 2012

Robert Frost

My favorite poet of all time is Robert Frost. Since I have a captive audience, I'm going to post a few of his poems with my 2nd-grade quality analyses of them. Plus, I'm going to whore myself out for comments. Keep reading...

The Pasture
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(and wait to watch the water clear I may):
I shant be gone long. --You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shant be gone long. --You come too.

The Pasture is possibly my favorite poem in the English language. It's touching and beautiful in its simplicity; a farmer inviting his wife or child or friend to accompany him on a short errand, one that could easily be accomplished alone, but one that's made richer with good company.  I look forward to the day when that spouse or child or good friend can drive with me to the gas station or drug store, just for the sake of company. 

Choose Something Like a Star
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will  not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn 
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.

And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed 
To carry praise or blame to far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

I love this poem too. But I kinda wanna try something with it. It's a complicated poem; the first time I read it I was in a class, so I got to sit idly by while others analyzed it for me, which gave me an unfair advantage. I only got to hear one explanation of what it means, the "right" explanation, and I'd like to see what other messages people get out of it.  Drop me an e-mail or leave a comment and tell me what you think about this, my other favorite poem.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
To 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 there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked 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 sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference.

Self-explanatory, but with one twist that I'd never thought of until I talked about this poem with a friend awhile ago. He said that the part in the last stanza, "I shall be telling this with a sigh..." shows that even when he reaches the end of the path, the speaker will still be unsure about whether or not his choice was the right one. I wonder if that's how it will be for all of us: Do we really know we made all the right choices in life because they led us to here? Or are we just seeking the equilibrium that comes with "knowing" that everything happened for a reason? I kind of think that I'll always have that what-if feeling giving me pause to contemplate if I really did make all the right choices.  

Good ol' poetry. I like you, I think I'll keep you around for awhile.


  1. Robert Frost is also my favorite poet. I dabble a little with photography and have a photo of two horses stuck out in a COLD snowstorm. For me, it was the perfect backdrop for "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", my ALL TIME favorite poem. Thank you for writing about Mr. Frost and bringing good memories to my mind. :)

    Happy night. Duck

  2. P.S. Perhaps the sigh in "Two roads" is a sigh of tiredness, or even contentment. Perhaps the sigh means (s)he is REALLY glad that that is where (s)he ended up? I do not know. My 2 farthings worth... :)

  3. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offence.
    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

  4. I've always thought these lines from "Mending Wall,"

  5. ...also raise the question of gay consciousness on the part of Frost.

    1. I too question gay consciousness. It just hit me like a pebble in the head one day when considering the longing within "Stopping by the Woods." Then I returned to several of his popular and not so popular poems, and I believe there is strong evidence that Frost was gay, or had gay desires. Also, his relationship with Edward Thomas and Thomas's own family problems raise questions in my mind. If "The Road Not Taken" was a gay lifestyle, Frost safely expressed his emotions through natural poetic notions in his time.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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