Sunday, April 11, 2010

Desert Places - Robert Frost

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it - it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less -
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars - on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is traditionally thought of as a New England poet although he was born in San Francisco and lived there until he was eleven. We tend to think of Frost's poems for their traditional style and depictions of nature but his greatest works are profoundly modern explorations of universal hopes and fears.

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