1923 is such an excellent year that I’m glad I got a third swing of the bat. This is the year of Robert Frost’s New Hampshire: such a powerful collection of poems. “Fire and Ice” (a poem that speaks to the darkness of human nature). “The Need of Being Versed in Country Things” (a poem whose final lines still unsettle me). “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (a poem whose power has only grown for me, over the years). But among this collection—Frost’s greatest, I think—is a poem with a long-standing connection to both my wife and myself, in a myriad of ways, and she said it was the right one to post today. I leave it to you to tell me what this is about—Despair? Hope? Death? Freedom? I have comments to make, but as always, I would much rather hear what you think. Without further ado: “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.