Friday, July 13, 2012

Poetry Friday: "Too present to imagine."

Do you even have to ask? After today's post, the only choice for Poetry Friday is Robert Frost.

I chose this one because the older I get -- the longer I am married, a mother, a teacher, a writer, a friend  -- the more I understand this rearview mirror of life, the way that, "The present is too much for the senses,/Too crowding, too confusing-/Too present to imagine." It is only in looking back from that favored future vantage point that the past makes sense, that the past becomes real and immediate and necessary.

And it's from that still, small spot in the future that I can see my present steadily arranging itself, and I can trust that the crowding and confusion are falling into place.

Carpe Diem
by Robert Frost

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
"Be happy, happy, happy,

But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing—
Too present to imagine.

Read the entire poem here, at

The Poetry Friday roundup is at Check It Out.


Linda B said...

It's an interesting way to look at past, present & future, sort of like wanting control over this 'wild & crazy life' as Mary Oliver writes of. Thanks for the thoughtful poem & words about it!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thanks for sharing, Karen. Yep, I think our perception of time changes as the years roll by. Love the blessing of strangers in this poem.