Friday, December 04, 2009

Poetry Friday: Reluctance

I really didn't get Robert Frost until I was older.

When I was in high school, I thought of him as the death poet, stopping by woods to think about that final nap, or as the rugged individualist, taking New England roads less traveled.

But as I grew up -- lived, moved, loved, worked, lost, made mistakes, grieved, hated, healed, and grew every year to love the shape and layering of words more dearly, I found that I also loved the roads Frost traveled.

I've been saving this one for the end of fall, for the real turn of weather that is winter upon us. Oh, I know ... winter may not arrive officially for a couple of weeks, but now that we are in the Advent season, and we saw our temperatures dive this week from deliciously mild to twenty degrees, I must reluctantly admit that my beloved autumn is gone.  Of course, Frost is talking about a lot more here than reluctantly letting go of autumn rust and woodsy bonfires.  He leaves me in awe, at times, with the way he can take the simplest subject and turn it into a metaphysical wallop. 


Reluctance
by Robert Frost

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended; ...

... Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

(Go read the whole poem here.)

The Poetry Friday round up can be found at Wild Rose Reader

10 comments:

sarah said...

Robert is my favourite poet ever and the only one I can read over and over again. I love his depth and complexity and intelligence. His poems never mean what they seem to mean. For example, everyone quotes "The road less travelled by" so seriously, and don't appreciate they are making themselves the butt of a very clever joke.

sarah said...

Oh, and he was a homeschooler too! When I learned that, I nearly swooned with happiness.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I know what you mean about getting Frost more and more the older I get. I always loved him, but now I understand him better. I love these lines:

"To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,"

Irene Latham said...

This reminds me of Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle. What a great message, to NOT settle. Or at least that's the message I'm bringing to it. :) Thanks so much for sharing!

Melanie B said...

Oh that is so beautiful it aches.

Karen, Thank you as always for bringing a little poetry to my Friday. I look forward to it every week. And this week it was exactly what I needed when I sat down at my computer.

Joni said...

How lovely...thanks for posting this poem. :)

Kelly Fineman said...

LOVE Frost. Not positive I've seen this one before, and it's glorious. Thanks for posting it!

jama said...

This poem is new to me, too. Since it just started snowing as I began to read this, I wholly agree with Frost's sentiment. Thanks for the moment of reflection.

Anonymous said...

The only peom I know from Robert Frost is, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.
John Parisi

Coach Mama said...

Karen, I laughed out loud at this sentence: "When I was in high school, I thought of him as the death poet, stopping by woods to think about that final nap". It seems very much in a high school way of thinking. :) I thought that way of Frost then, too, and agree with you about growing up to appreciate him. The poem was lovely. Thank you for sharing!