Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Poetry: Robert Frost, November & A Walk

In 1992, I visited Robert Frost's farm in Derry, New Hampshire during an uncommonly cold and stormy August day. I remember thinking that it was the perfect day to trek through the trails that Frost walked. Autumn hit early that year while my husband and I drove through New England and witnessed nature and Fall in all its splendor, especially up north by beautiful Vermont.

Today we're experiencing a typical November day. It's very windy and there are storm clouds one minute and sun patches the next. Last night's rain storms washed away a lot of the leaves and all I can see out of my front window are a few yellow leaves hanging from the branches of giant trees. Days like these always make me reach for Robert Frost.

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.


A Late Walk

When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth,
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

Taken from: The Poetry of Robert Frost: The collected poems, complete and unabridged edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Part I - A Boy's Will: 1913


  1. Lovely - thank you! That second photo (of the flower). That's a Cosmos, yes? I have those growing (and beginning to flower) at home :)

  2. So glad you enjoyed this, Orannia. Actually that is a picture of what is what is called in North America an "aster" flower (from the poem). But, I looked it up and the Cosmos is from the same family -- Asteraceae -- so is the Daisy, btw. :) How lovely to have them flowering at home at this moment.

  3. I don't read a lot of poetry but Frost is one of the few that I can read over and over. I think it's because he's so good at painting the picture yet still easy to read.

    Thanks for sharing your autumn day. :)

  4. Leslie, great observation about Frost. It's also one of the reasons I enjoy his poetry. I'm a nature lover and this book by him is well-loved. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing these poems, Hils. They're so straightforward, yet so insightful. I love that.

  6. Christine, I'm glad you enjoyed them. I love them for the same reasons. They capture moments and almost like a photograph, I can visualize them.


Anonymous Users disallowed due to large influx of spam.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.