The movements of this past week, with all its pulls and demands, brought me back to my family’s home for a brief visit. As usually happens on these visits, I found myself in front of the bookshelf of my youth, this time searching for the pocket anthology of Robert Frost I recalled was burrowed in there somewhere. I smuggled it past the security checkpoint at the front door, and have been enjoying its enriching company these past few days. Perhaps I will return it someday, when it’s good and read.
I will share here a poem from it that draws me back to my childhood. My dad would recite its closing lines to us as we were settling into bed, turning off our light and pulling the door shut. I can still feel the darkness of the room, see the light from the hallway spilling in around him, and hear in his voice Frost’s reluctance to leave the tranquil scene that had so compelled him.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
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.