4.20.2010

April is National Poetry Month: The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

A couple of summers ago I was in a used book store and found The Poetry of Robert Frost for three dollars. It is a hardbound collection which " it is believed Robert Frost himself would have chosen to represent his poetic achievement" ( the publishers note). It was published after his death in 1963. I first remember reading Frost when I was introduced to "Mending Wall", "Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening", and "The Road Not Taken". AS a teacher of poetry I choose Frost often because my students like him. They seem to "get" what he is saying.  I have posted this poem before, but it remains one of my favorites.

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things


The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
Like a pistil after the petals go.

The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place's name.

No more it opened with all one end
For teams that came by the stony road
To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs
And brush the mow with the summer load.

The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh
From too much dwelling on what has been.

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe the phoebes wept.

-Robert Frost

1 comment :

  1. The poem paints a nostalgic picture. I like Frost's poetry.
    Has it warmed up over there yet? I'm wondering if the ash from the Iceland volcano is affecting your weather.
    How is your garden growing? Isn't it wonderful to see the spring flowers again?

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