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Found 13 results

  1. Tinker

    Voice Ways

    Voice Ways by Robert Frost Some things are never clear. But the weather is clear tonight, Thanks to a clearing rain The mountains are brought up near, Your sweet-cynical strain Would come in like your here: "So we won't say, nothing is clear." Voice Ways is found in The Further Range 1936 L1 used in my Golden Shovel
  2. The Sonnet is probably one of the most popular verse forms written. Several noted poets have tried their hand and offered a slightly skewed rhyme scheme or stanza arrangement to some of their sonnets resulting in someone emulating and naming the sonnet frame after the poet. Are they legitimate separate sonnet forms or are they simply variations of the Petrarchan or Shakespearean forms, who is to say? Here are a few that you may run across. The American Sonnet or Percival's Sonnet named for James Gates Percival's contributed sonnets with a loose metric rhythm consistent with American speech and a unique rhyme scheme. Percival, (1795-1856), American Poet and Geologist spent many years assisting Noah Webster and contributing to the development of the American Dictionary of the English Language of 1828. The elements of the American Sonnet or Percival's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of a quatrain followed by 2 quintains metric, a loose pentameter. rhymed abba accca deeed pivot naturally sometime after the 9th line The Dreaming Soul by James Gates Percival O, there are moments when the dreaming soul Forgets the earth, and wanders far away Into some region of eternal day, Where the bright waves in calm and sunshine roll! Thither it wanders, and has reached a goal;- The good, the great, the beautiful, are there, And wreaths of victory crown their flowing hair; And as they move, such music fills the air As ne'er from fabled bower or cavern stole. Soft to the heart it winds, and hushes deep Its cares and sorrows. Thought then, fancy-free, Flies on from bliss to bliss, till, finding thee, It pauses, as the musk-rose charms the bee, Tranced as in happy dream of magic sleep. Byron's Sonnet is a sonnet form named from George Gordon, Lord Byron's attempts at expanding the rhyme from 2 to 3 rhymes in the octave of the Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet. George Gordon (1788-1824) English "romance" poet ( a bit of a rake, known for his many affairs) and parliamentarian is probably best known for writing the narrative Don Juan and the shorter lyrical work She Walks In Beauty. The elements of Byron's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of an octave followed by a sestet. metric, iambic pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abba acca dedede pivot or volta between the octave and sestet. Sonnet to Chillon by George Gordon, Lord Byron Eternal spirit of the chainless mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, For there thy habitation is the heart, The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consigned To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom, Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon! thy prison is a holy place, And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas trod, Until his very steps have left a trace Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard! - May none those marks efface! For they appeal from tyranny to God. Channing's Sonnet is a slight adjustment to the structure of the Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet. Instead of octave / sestet frame, the sestet is separated as two tercets. (and in reality is the how many view and write the sestet anyway) Modelled after some sonnets said to have been written by American Poet, Author, and Transcendentalist, William Ellery Channing (1818–1901). I have to admit that I don't know of the title of his sonnets with this frame and I was unable to find an example. Channing is probably better known for his biography of Henry Thoreau. I don't think this is really enough of an adjustment to include here as a separate sonnet form but there are other sites that list it. The elements are: framed with an octave followed by two tercets. Space separates the three stanzas. metric, iambic pentameter, rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaabba cde cde or abbaacca dee dff pivot sometime after the octave Frost's Sonnet couldn't be left off of this list even though it isn't a recognized sonnet frame and I am yet to find it listed elsewhere. Robert Frost, (1874 - 1063) American poet, often wrote in classic form but did create this unique frame for his famous poem The Oven Bird found in his second book North of Boston. The elements of Frost's Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of a couplet, a sestet, a couplet and a quatrain in that order. metric, loose iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme aa bcbdcd ee fgfg pivot after the sestet. The Oven Bird by Robert Frost There is a singer everyone has heard. Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird, Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again. He says that leaves are old and that for flowers Mid-simmer is to spring as one to ten. He says the early petal-fall is past, When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers On sunny days a moment overcast; And comes that other fall we name the fall. He says the highway dust is overall. The bird would cease and he as other birds but that he knows in singing not to sing. The question that he frames in all but words Is what to make of a diminished thing. The Shelley Sonnet follows the octave sestet frame but the rhyme is interlocked . Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822) another of England's Romantic poets, is "regarded by some as among the finest lyric poets in the English language." Wikipedia. The elements of the Shelley Sonnet are: a quatorzain made up of 2 quatrains followed by 2 tercets. metric, iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme abab acdc ede fef pivot after the octave Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. Tennyson's Sonnet steps out of the 14 line standard adding a 15th line in an octave - septet frame. It also repeats specific end words within the frame. Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809 – 1892, the Victorian poet is among the most popular British poets of his time. The elements of the Tennyson's Sonnet are: framed with an octave followed by a septet (7 lines) not a sestet. metric, iambic pentameter rhymed, rhyme scheme a¹ba²cdccd efea²ba¹fe (the a rhyme is a repetition of end word only, not entire line) pivot after L10 The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumbered and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
  3. NOW close the windows and hush all the fields; If the trees must, let them silently toss; No bird is singing now, and if there is, Be it my loss. It will be long ere the marshes resume, It will be long ere the earliest bird: So close the windows and not hear the wind, But see all wind-stirred.
  4. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: 'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'. Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: 'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me~ Not of woods only and the shade of trees. He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
  5. Tinker

    When in the Woods

    When in the Woods by Judi Van Gorder Settling into stillness, spine straight, shoulders relaxed, lines from a Robert Frost poem glide through my thoughts. Recall images lost. Settling into stillness I open to the sounds of a squirrel up high gathering for winter and never asking why. Settling into stillness the minutes drop away. Pain and joy become one moment, no time to waste before my work is done. Just chasing a form. This is a Monchielle
  6. Tinker

    Lectio divina

    Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry Liturgical Verse Lectio divina is a spiritual practice but for the purposes of this forum it could be classified as a poetic genre. As such it is a poet's response in verse to something he/she has read aloud and meditated upon. This genre invites the poet to frame the response in whatever manner they wish. The spiritual practice of lectio divina - Latin for "holy or sacred reading" is an extension of haga - a prayerful Jewish meditation of chanted scripture. In ancient times when scripture was not readily available to all, holy men would gather to read, chant and in the process memorize scripture. They would then go off by themselves to meditate on the words and possibly record them. The purpose was not to study or analyze the readings but to absorb and connect it to their everyday lives and experiences, become one with the spirit of the words. The origin of lectio divina dates back to the 3rd century, St Ambrose then St Augustine practiced a form of lectio divina but it wasn't until the 6th century that it became a monastic practice instituted by St Benedict. In the 20th century, in the documents of Vatican II, the laity were encouraged to adopt the practice. Lectio divina is believed to help the practitioner "experience God in scripture" and "have a running dialogue with the spirit". Response to the sacred readings is sometimes recorded in verse. This is still practiced by many today, catholics and protestants alike. Long before I heard the term lectio divina I had without labelling it, often written small poems in response to meditation of scripture or other's poetry. It just seemed an appropriate way to complete the experience. Japanese buddhist priest and poet Basho followed similar steps to enlightenment and often wrote responses to others' "sacred writings". He even made a pilgrimage visiting the places old poets/priests had written about and documented his responses in haiku. "Feel the truth of old poets." Basho The process of lectio divina is: (lectio) read and listen, preferably reading the selected piece out loud a few times to hear the sounds of the words and feel the rhythm of the language as well as to absorb the imagery. Listen for words or phrases that seem to speak just to you. (meditatio) meditation, setting the reading aside spend some time open to how the reading made you feel, what memories it may have touched, who or what may have come to mind during the reading. (oratio) prayer, a dialogue with the Spirit. Whether you recognize the spirit as God, Christ or simply the spirit that resides within each of us, oratio would be the attempt to talk it out and listen to the spirit of the word, Here we tap into hopes, concerns or thoughts inspired by the reading.. This is not an attempt to explain nor analyse, but should be a reaction to the spirit of the word. (contemplatio) contemplation, letting it go. You know the old saying "Let go, let God.". When we write down our thoughts we release them. Many record their response in a journal, often in verse writing in whatever form fits the mood. Specific language or phrases of the readings are often repeated as a way of connecting the experience. I wrote Chimes in Glosa form in response to a verse from scripture that I have carried with me since my teens. Glosa and haiku seem to be my 2 favorite frames for responses. Reading:A Question by Robert Frost A voice said, Look me in the stars And tell me truly, men of earth, If all the soul-and-body scars Were not too much to pay for birth. My Response in haiku: "soul-and-body scars" so far a bargain, I live! ~~jvg
  7. Tinker

    Eclogue

    Explore the Craft of Writing Greek Verse An Eclogue (Greek for "selected pieces") is a short narrative written in the manner of a monologue. The poet explains how he/she feels about a subject, why he/she feels that way and why the reader should also feel the same way. The verse was originally centered on country living, in a idyllic pastoral setting. It is smooth and fluid patterned after the poems of the Greek poet, Theocritus (300 B.C.). Inspired by Theocritus the Roman poet, Virgil took the eclogue a step further and brought imagery and drama to the verse. His works brought a sense of lyrical realism to the genre, stepping away from the idealistic pastoral setting into the more bucolic realm of the politics and philosophy of country life. An Eclogue Débat is a versified argument between opposing sides who care for one another such as lovers or parent and child. As genre rather than verse form, the eclogue frame or structure is at the discretion of the poet. Robert Frost is a modern day ecologue poet. Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm The flakes could find no landing place to form. Hordes spent themselves to make it wet and cold, And still they failed of any lasting hold. They made no white impression on the black. They disappeared as if earth sent them back. Not till from separate flakes they changed at night To almost strips and tapes of ragged white Did grass and garden ground confess it snowed, And all go back to winter but the road. Next day the scene was piled and puffed and dead. The grass lay flattened under one great tread. Borne down until the end almost took root, The rangey bough anticipated fruit With snowball cupped in every opening bud. The road alone maintained itself in mud, Whatever its secret was of greater heat From inward fires or brush of passing feet. In spring more mortal singers than belong To any one place cover us with song. Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng; Some to go further north to Hudson's Bay, Some that have come too far north back away, Really a very few to build and stay. Now was seen how these liked belated snow. the field had nowhere left for them to go; They'd soon exhausted all there was in flying; The trees they'd had enough of with once trying And setting off their heavy powder load. They could find nothing open but the road. Sot there they let their lives be narrowed in By thousands the bad weather made akin. The road became a channel running flocks Of glossy birds like ripples over rocks. I drove them under foot in bits of flight That kept the ground. almost disputing right Of way with me from apathy of wing, A talking twitter all they had to sing. A few I must have driven to despair Made quick asides, but having done in air A whir among white branches great and small As in some too much carven marble hall Where one false wing beat would have brought down all, Came tamely back in front of me, the Drover, To suffer the same driven nightmare over. One such storm in a lifetime couldn't teach them That back behind pursuit it couldn't reach them; None flew behind me to be left alone. Well, something for a snowstorm to have shown The country's singing strength thus brought together, the thought repressed and moody with the weather Was none the less there ready to be freed And sing the wildflowers up from root and seed.
  8. Tinker

    Classical Hendecameter

    Explore the Craft of Writing Greek Poetry The Classical Hendecameter is one of the 4 classic meters of Aeolic verse from the 8th-6th centuries BC Greek Dark Ages. It was used generously many centuries later by the Engish poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is an 11 syllable line written with a trochee followed by a dactyl and 3 trochees in that order. The first and last trochees can be spondees. In Greek, quantitative verse Ls-Lss-Ls-Ls-Ls L= long sound or syllable s= short sound or syllable or LL-Lss-Ls-Ls-LL In English accentual syllabic verse applies Su-Suu-Su-Su-Su S= stressed syllable u= unstressed syllable or SS-Suu-Su-Su-SS Milton Part II Hendecasyllabics -- Alfred Lord Tennyson 1891 O you chorus of indolent reviewers, Irresponsible, indolent reviewers, Look, I come to the test, a tiny poem All composed in a meter of Catullus, All in quantity, careful of my motion, Like the skater on ice that hardly bears him, Lest I fall unawares before the people, Waking laughter in indolent reviewers. Should I flounder awhile without a tumble Thro' this metrification of Catullus, They should speak to me not without a welcome, All that chorus of indolent reviewers. Hard, hard, hard it is, only not to tumble, So fantastical is the dainty meter. Wherefore slight me not wholly, nor believe me Too presumptuous, indolent reviewers. O blatant Magazines, regard me rather - Since I blush to be laud myself a moment - As some rare little rose, a piece of inmost Horticultural art, or half-coquette-like Maiden, not to be greeted unbendingly. For Once, Then Something by Robert Frost Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs Always wrong to the light, so never seeing Deeper down in the well than where the water Gives me back in a shining surface picture Me myself in the summer heaven godlike Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs. Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb, I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture, Through the picture, a something white, uncertain, Something more of the depths—and then I lost it. Water came to rebuke the too clear water. One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom, Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness? Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.
  9. Tinker

    Terza Rima or Diaspora Sonnet

    Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Sonnet Sonnet Comparison Chart English Verse The Terza Rima or Diaspora Sonnet, appeared in England in the 19th century. It makes use of the interweaving pattern and forward movement of the Italian Terza Rima. This variation of the sonnet is written in tercets with an interlocking rhyme scheme and concludes with a refrain or invocation in the form of a heroic couplet. The Greek word "diaspora" means "scattered abroad". The Bible used the word to refer to the Jews who lived outside of Palestine after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 587 B.C. The Jews scattered into the Greek Roman cities and later further north. They maintained their Jewish identity while adapting to the language and customs of their new homes by continuing to honor Jewish traditions. Perhaps in regard to this Sonnet form, it refers back to the original Italian Terza Rima form continuing its interlocking rhyme while adapting to a new language and new frame. The elements of the Terza Rima Sonnet are: a quatorzain, made up of 4 tercets and concluding with a rhyming couplet. metric, iambic pentameter. composed with a volta (a non physical gap) or pivot (a shifting or tilting of the main line of thought) sometime after the 2nd tercet. similar to the Spenserian Sonnet in which the poem progresses forward developing the metaphor, conflict, idea or question. The epiphany of the poem arrives logically in the couplet. rhymed with up to 6 rhymes with an interlocking rhyme scheme is aba bcb cdc ded ee. written so that the concluding rhyming couplet serves as a refrain or invocation. Ode to the West Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,------------- My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawakened Earth The trumpet of a prophecy! 0 Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? ---Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822 Acquainted with the Night I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain--and back in rain. I have out walked 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. ----- Robert Frost 1874-1963 Rim by Tõnis Veenpere The grooves in the gray matter had sunk in; troubling thoughts adhered to the bone rim of a cage, hidden beneath delicate skin from uncurious eyes. Oft, in the dim blush of the winter gloaming came a blast: a wraith of her, locked in a kiss with him; but now, the daystar is returning fast to subjugate -- reveal and burn away -- vexatious apparitions of the past. Time to defy the high and help allay the self-inflicted torment -- to maroon addictions which beget afflictions -- today, while spring dissolves the saffron afternoon into the milk of the Full Flower Moon.
  10. Tinker

    III. Three Line Construction

    Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Frame Three Line Construction Three line units of poetry could fall under one or all of the general terms tristich, tercet and triplet. The differences are purely technical rhetoric since all three terms are used synonymously. However, there can be divisions which I attempt to delineate here. A tristich is a complete poem in three lines. Both the tercet and triplet can also be a tristich. I found the words tercet and triplet to be commonly interchanged, although there were attempts at separating the two terms by various sources. Respected sources give same, similar and sometimes contradictory definitions. The term tercet is rooted in French and Italian while triplet is from Middle English. So if they mean the same thing, why would we in English ever use the foreign term tercet? Tercet, by the way, seems to be more commonly used in English than triplet. What is right, who knows? The one distinction I have recognized is that when the three-line stanza is mono-rhymed it is invariably referred to as a triplet. Therefore, to be consistent and clear throughout my research, I use the term "tercet" for any three line stanza except when it is mono-rhymed, then I use the term "triplet". The Tercet is rooted in 14th century Italy when Dante elevated three line folk verse to an established stanzaic form in his Divine Comedy. The tercet is any three lines of verse grouped as a thought or sense unit. It is most often stanzaic and can be written in conjunction with any number of other tercets or in combination with other stanza forms. However, it can also be a stand-alone poem which technically could be a tristich. Meter and/or rhyme are written at the discretion of the poet. Although the tercet is not as popular as the quatrain, it has taken its place of importance in Western poetics. It is the frame of the sestet, the Terza Rima, and the Villanelle. Even the haiku, when written in 3 lines, could be called a tercet. While looking for examples of the form, the most common rhyme scheme I found outside of the Sicilian, interlocking rhyme of (aba bcb etc.) was, (aab ccd etc.) or (abb cdd etc). Some of the more common variations of the tercet are: Tercet, unrhymed is any poem written with stanzaic three line units that are not end-rhymed. Snow Man by Wallace Stevens 1879-1955 from Poetry 1921 One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That is blowing in the same bare place For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. An Enclosed Tercet sometimes called Enclosed Triplet, is a 3 line verse in which L1 and L3 rhyme, "enclosing" an unrhymed L2, rhyme scheme axa bxb etc. The lines may be written in any meter. Although many sources cited the enclosed tercet as commonly used, it was difficult to find a poem using the rhyme scheme to show an example, so in desperation, I wrote my own. 3 AM by Judi Van Gorder Obsession drives me late into the night pushing limits, one more try in fear that inspiration will take flight. Tears form, pupils sensitive to light time to quit, shut it down, sleep and tomorrow make time to write. Sicilian Tercet is a tercet written in iambic pentameter with an interlocking rhyme, aba bcb etc. Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost from The New Hampshire 1923, is an example of Sicilian tercets within a verse form, the Terza Rima Sonnet. 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-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, [O luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night. A few others I include under the forum for their nation of origin are: Capitolo Piplikamadhya Terza Rima Triversen The Triplet Tristich Sijo Haiku
  11. Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry The Frame II The Couplet An octosyllabic couplet or short couplet is two iambic or trochaic tetrameter lines, often rhymed. Octosyllabic could also refer to any couplet of 8 syllable lines. 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. --- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  12. Robert Frost 1874-1963 Poetry is "a way of remembering what it would impoverish us to forget," I first became aware of Robert Frost when I was 19 years old, a time in my life when I was neither reading nor writing poetry. I actually remember him reading a poem at JF Kennedy's inauguration. I don't really remember the poem but, I do remember being impressed. Of course it was Gift Outright, "The land was ours before were the land's." "Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (the deed of gift was many deeds of war) to the land vaguely realized westward, but still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, such as she was, such as she would become." I quickly forgot about him however until forty years later while taking the online course, Understanding Poetry through Barnes and Noble. We read Birches and A Road Not Taken. I was taken with the simplicity yet emotional power of Birches with the understatement "One could do worse than be a swinger of birches". And recognized a line I knew by heart but had no idea where it had come from, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." from the Road Not Taken (1916) A little later, while studying Donald Hall's To Read a Poem, I was reintroduced to Frost in the first chapter titled "Good Poems". The first "good poem" was Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and there was no question in my mind that Hall was right. There were three things that stood out to me in this poem, the simplicity, the sound and the careful use of the perfect word in the perfect place. In researching I was not surprised to read this quote by Frost. "All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech." I was going to choose a line or two from this poem, but I just couldn't… It is the whole poem that rings in my ears. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening (1923) 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. In preparing this post I read dozens and dozens of his poems which reinforced my impressions from In Stopping by Woodsand Birches, Frost was a master at simplicity, sound, placing the perfect word in the perfect position in the line. He wrote about nature and how it influenced us. His images were audible as well as visible. " A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall, The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt. We heard the miniature thunder where he fled, And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and grey, Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes. 'I think the little fellow's afraid of the snow." --------------- from The Runaway (1923) "It is blue-butterfly day here in spring," ---------------- from Blue-Butterfly Day (1923) And he wrote about human relations in the simplest voice from experience of joy and pain. I thought to include several lines from various poems but instead will end with this one poem which again, I could not select a line or two. I found this very moving, very real, very painful, and very beautiful. HOME BURIAL He saw her from the bottom of the stairs Before she saw him. She was starting down, Looking back over her shoulder at some fear. She took a doubtful step and then undid it To raise herself and look again. He spoke Advancing toward her: 'What is it you see From up there always -- for I want to know.' She turned and sank upon her skirts at that, And her face changed from terrified to dull. He said to gain time: 'What is it you see?' Mounting until she cowered under him. 'I will find out now -- you must tell me, dear.' She, in her place, refused him any help With the least stiffening of her neck and silence. She let him look, sure that he wouldn't see, Blind creature; and a while he didn't see. But at last he murmured, 'Oh' and again, 'Oh.' 'What is it -- what?' she said. 'Just that I see.' 'You don't,' she challenged. 'Tell me what it is.' 'The wonder is I didn't see at once. I never noticed it from here before. I must be wonted to it -- that's the reason.' The little graveyard where my people are! So small the window frames the whole of it. Not so much larger than a bedroom, is it? There are three stones of slate and one of marble, Broad-shouldered little slabs there in the sunlight On the sidehill. We haven't to mind those. But I understand: it is not the stones, But the child's mound --' 'Don't, don't, don't, don't,' she cried. She withdrew shrinking from beneath his arm That rested on the banister, and slid downstairs; And turned on him with such a daunting look, He said twice over before he knew himself: 'Can't a man speak of his own child he's lost?' 'Not you! Oh, where's my hat? Oh, I don't need it! I must get out of here. I must get air. I don't know rightly whether any man can.' 'Amy! Don't go to someone else this time. Listen to me. I won't come down the stairs.' He sat and fixed his chin between his fists. 'There's something I should like to ask you, dear.' 'You don't know how to ask it.' 'Help me, then.' Her fingers moved the latch for all reply. 'My words are nearly always an offence. I don't know how to speak of anything So as to please you. But I might be taught I should suppose. I can't say I see how, A man must partly give up being a man With women-folk. We could have some arrangement By which I'd bind myself to keep hands off Anything special you're a-mind to name. Though I don't like such things 'twixt those that love. Two that don't love can't live together without them. But two that do can't live together with them.' She moved the latch a little. 'Don't -- don't go. Don't carry it to someone else this time. Tell me about it if it's something human. Let me into your grief. I'm not so much Unlike other folks as your standing there Apart would make me out. Give me my chance. I do think, though, you overdo it a little. What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother-loss of a first child So inconsolably- in the face of love. You'd think his memory might be satisfied --' 'There you go sneering now!' 'I'm not, I'm not! You make me angry. I'll come down to you. God, what a woman! And it's come to this, A man can't speak of his own child that's dead.' 'You can't because you don't know how. If you had any feelings, you that dug With your own hand--how could you?--his little grave; I saw you from that very window there, Making the gravel leap and leap in air, Leap up, like that, like that, and land so lightly And roll back down the mound beside the hole. I thought, Who is that man? I didn't know you. And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs To look again, and still your spade kept lifting. Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice Out in the kitchen, and I don't know why, But I went near to see with my own eyes. You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby's grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it.' 'I shall laugh the worst laugh I ever laughed. I'm cursed. God, if I don't believe I'm cursed.' I can repeat the very words you were saying , "Three foggy mornings and one rainy day Will rot the best birch fence a man can build." Think of it, talk like that at such a time! What had how long it takes a birch to rot To do with what was in the darkened parlour? You couldn't care! The nearest friends can go With anyone to death, comes so far short They might as well not try to go at all. No, from the time when one is sick to death, One is alone, and he dies more alone. Friends make pretence of following to the grave, But before one is in it, their minds are turned And making the best of their way back to life And living people, and things they understand. But the world's evil. I won't have grief so If I can change it. Oh, I won't, I won't' 'There, you have said it all and you feel better. You won't go now. You're crying. Close the door. The heart's gone out of it: why keep it up? Amyl There's someone coming down the road!' 'You --oh, you think the talk is all. I must go- Somewhere out of this house. How can I make you --' 'If--you -- do!' She was opening the door wider. 'Where do you mean to go? First tell me that. I'll follow and bring you back by force. I will! --' from North of Boston 1915 Among the many poets I admire, Robert Frost stands out for me as the poet that has most inspired me to sharpen my skills as a writer. ~~Tink
  13. Tinker

    Robert Frost, Sower

    Robert Frost, Sower Some forty years ago, I saw him stand up next to J.F.K. and heard them call him Poet Laureate. He read aloud from shaking paper held in wrinkled hands. I don't remember any words he spoke, it was his gravel voice that stayed with me. I had an inkling then I witnessed steel and still I hear him now, the harness bells and swinging birches, sounds connecting voice and pen. He planted a seed in me that day, a need to share this vibrant world in verse. --- Judi Van Gorder
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