Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The following poem was written by one of my favorite authors, Robert Frost. It is written in the classic terza rima style. Most who analyze it think it has to do with depression, guilt, rejection and death. Sheesh! Why can't people take a good poem for it's face value? The guy liked to go for walks. He is from New England so he might walk in the dark in the winter months. Also note the next poem, a great one about walking in the wind and visiting with a little boy on the way. The "luminary clock" in the first poem is probably the full moon. If you were out last night or early this morning you might have seen it. (Check out Peep's Moon Mission--Peep and the Big wide world)


I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


Around bend after bend,
It was blown woods and no end.
I came to but one house,
I made but the one friend.

At the one house a child was out
Who drew back at first in doubt,
But spoke to me in a gale
That blew so he had to shout.

His cheek smeared with apple sand,
A part apple in his hand,
He pointed on up the road
As one having war-command.

A parent, his gentler one,
Looked forth on her small son
And wondered with me there
What now was being done.

His accent was not good.
But I slowly understood.
The big flag: the red--white--
And blue flag, the great sight--
He bet it was out today,
And would I see if he was right?


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have always liked Robert Frost's poems about good fences make good neighbors, and about stopping in the woods on a winter's evening, but I had not read these two -- thank you for opening my eyes a little. I like them, too.

I suspect that if you asked him what his poems meant, Robert Frost might give you more than one answer.

"I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep" could be taken as a general commentary on life, with "sleep" referring to death, or it just might mean that he had lots to do that day and couldn't spend as much time as he would like in contemplation.

Humpty Dumpty and Alice in "Through the Looking Glass" had a discussion once about words and how they could mean more than just one thing. As Humpty Dumpty said, "The question is, which is to be master?"

The nice thing about being the reader is I get to choose what I think it means.

(I didn't quite like the way this posting was phrased before, so made some minor changes. The good thing about being the writer is I get to choose, too!)