Monday, July 6, 2009

Onwards, always

The only poem I know by heart is one I learned in fourth grade. I recited it to myself over and over again, learning it for class as I had to learn others. Snatches of those other poems float in and out of my head, visions of daffodils and clouds, wine and lovers, gazelles loping through the wood...but only one stays long enough for me to reach out and pick up the words again. My mind drifts to it every now and then. The words rise to my tongue. I am still not sure why, of all the poems that have crossed my path only this one should linger. I am sure other words have had a larger impact on me, but somehow when I am sad or angry or frustrated or dissatisfied, when I am in need of comfort or encouragement, when I cannot see the path ahead, only these words seem to appear, threading their way through my fourth-grader memories and into my mind.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

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.

1 comment:

Lauren E. said...

I can't tell you how many times that line "And miles to go before I sleep" has passed through my brain! One of my favorites.