Friday, November 25, 2011

Poetry Friday: Reluctance

 

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the hills I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
 
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
 
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone astor is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question"Whither?"
 
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?

                -- Robert Frost 

Heidi is hosting Poetry Friday over at My Juicy Little Universe, where she has a fabulous poem by one of my favorites -- Louis Untermeyer. You need some exercise after yesterday's feast, so trot on over.

Before you go, scroll down and read about Sarah Josepha Hale, who -- in a fashion -- brought you yesterday's feast . . .

Photo by Janet Buell

8 comments:

Heidi Mordhorst said...

The more I learn about Frost (his work, I mean, not necessarily the man)the more I admire. I don't know why I missed so much of his in my education, but thanks for helping me get it now, and thanks for stopping by mjlu today!

Linda at teacherdance said...

Every time I read one of Frost's poems, I am surprised that his voice is there, so clear, forcing deeper thoughts than just for an outdoor ramble. He so often asks a question, but leaves us to do the answering. Thanks for a beautiful poem shared.

Tara said...

The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question"Whither?"

For some reason, on this day after Thanksgiving, these lines are really speaking to me.

I'm Jet . . . said...

I'm with you, Linda and Heidi. I know his more well-known works, but the deeper I dig the more I'm just stunned by how widely and deeply his simple words travel.

I've had this anthology called THE POETRY OF ROBERT FROST, published by Holt Rinehart & Winston in 1969 -- containing all eleven of his books. I've probably had it since the mid-80s, but haven't looked at it much until recently. I read it in only small doses . . . an aid to digestion!

And, Tara, I hesitated posting this one today -- it just seemed too melancholy for the season, but somehow the words in this poem speak to me, too. Perhaps it's my reluctance to see the end of autumn.

Janet

Andy said...

Frost's work is timeless, and even though so much of it screams "New England," it's universal, too. Thanks, Janet.

Joyce Ray said...

Can't go wrong with Robert Frost. "Wended" is a word we should put to use more often. Thanks for posting this lovely poem.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

These are the lines that speak to me the most:
"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?"

- for awhile now, I've been disturbed by loved ones taking the path of least resistance - this poem has made that even clearer in Frost's painfully-questioning tone. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary Lee said...

I've loved this poem for a long time now. Sometimes I think of it in the winter, when oak leaves go scudding across snow. Sometimes that phrase, "To yield with a grace to reason" gets stuck in my craw when I'm having a hard time giving in and doing what needs to be done. (seems to, at least)