Sunday, February 10, 2013

A winter poem by Robert Frost

I loved this poem immediately when we learned it as children in school. And my parents recited it to us when we were young. It's a beautiful poem with lovely images that captures a moment in the life of the observer, who knows he is too busy living his life to 'explore' the woods. He ends by saying he has 'miles to go before I sleep', which is a metaphor for his eventual death. So I interpret the poem to mean that he can stop and reflect on his life at different points in his life, and that perhaps nature serves as a means for him to do this, but that he wishes to keep going, to keep living, to honor his promises, before he rests forever.

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.

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