29 June 2017

Poetry Thursday - Into my own by Robert Frost


Into My Own

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him the knew--
Only more sure of all I though was true.

      Robert Frost (1874-1963) (via)

This poem, published in Frost's first book (1913), is the first poem in Robert Frost: Selected Poems (Penguin, 1973), which I've owned since 1975. The pages are looking a bit brown, but the words are as fresh as ever, and many of the poems I've never read.

Nor had I read the introduction, by Ian Hamilton. It starts:
Perhaps the chief difficulty in talking about Robert Frost, both for those who talked about him in his lifetime and for those who talk about him now, is the difficulty of separating the poetry from the public personality. During his lifetime Frost was the nearest thing to a 'national' poet that America possessed. His virtues and his wisdom were applauded as representatively, and hearteningly, Yankee - distilled from the soil, his poems spoke of rural labour, of dignified self-reliance, of shrewd, practical and yet respectful dealing with a nature he both loved and hated. They were also, much of the time, unblushingly conservative and patriotic. And better still, they seemed to talk; talk in a natural and no-nonsense way - a more or less ordinary man talking to more or less ordinary [people].

1 comment:

Sandy said...

My English teacher in grade 8 loved Robert Frost. She used to say about tests and quizzes, "If in doubt, write 'Robert Frost'."

So, I learned to love him, but I mainly know the 3 more famous poems.
Stopping by a Wood on a Snowy Evening, Birches, and Two Roads Diverged in a Wood.

Thanks for introducing this one.