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The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Posted on 01/10/2014 6:17:52 PM PST by not2be4gotten.com

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Poetry
KEYWORDS:
I do this only once a year, around this time, because freepers know how to comment on this stuff.
1 posted on 01/10/2014 6:17:52 PM PST by not2be4gotten.com
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To: not2be4gotten.com

One must be very careful of the paths one selects...

My inconclusive travel plans for 2014 (received via email):

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but they say you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there.


2 posted on 01/10/2014 6:23:28 PM PST by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: not2be4gotten.com

Tuesday night during the half-time of the local high school basketball game, a friend of mine whose kid plays on the team started teaching this to me. He made me memorize it last stanza first.

It’s my goal to learn it and recite it well within the month. Thanks for posting!

Oldplayer


3 posted on 01/10/2014 6:23:59 PM PST by oldplayer
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To: not2be4gotten.com
He is/was very good. I love a good poem to rhyme…though I like "Stopping by a Wood on a Snowy Evening" to be the best of all American poems.

Let's see…

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 snowy woods and 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

Such perfection of mood, image, rhyme and meter.

4 posted on 01/10/2014 6:24:38 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: not2be4gotten.com

KNew I’d gotten one line wrong…”between the woods and frozen lake”


5 posted on 01/10/2014 6:26:11 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: not2be4gotten.com

I’ve always loved this one...

Mending Wall

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 outdoor 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 offense.
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.”


6 posted on 01/10/2014 6:28:25 PM PST by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: Mamzelle

Nicolai Dalchimsky: 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. Remember. Miles to go before I sleep.


7 posted on 01/10/2014 6:31:58 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: Mamzelle

“Stopping by a Wood on a Snowy Evening”

The best American poem ever.

I just posted the second best here for general discussion.

I am going through a rough time in my life and both poems inspire me (second to the scriptures)


8 posted on 01/10/2014 6:33:38 PM PST by not2be4gotten.com
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Who’s Nicolai?


9 posted on 01/10/2014 6:34:18 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: not2be4gotten.com

well, here’s a blessing from Mamzelle. Bless you.


10 posted on 01/10/2014 6:36:24 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
You haven't seen Telefon with Charles Bronson, Lee Remick and Donald Pleasence?
11 posted on 01/10/2014 6:37:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: Mamzelle

His poems are not taught anymore because he is dead, white, straight and male.


12 posted on 01/10/2014 6:37:57 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No—do tell.


13 posted on 01/10/2014 6:38:33 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: not2be4gotten.com

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

******
But if he only took one road there is no basis for comparison because he can’t know what would have occurred on the road more travelled, the road he didn’t take.


14 posted on 01/10/2014 6:38:47 PM PST by JouleZ (You are the company you keep.)
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To: Mamzelle

Rent it, you’ll almost certainly like it.


15 posted on 01/10/2014 6:40:09 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: JouleZ

Schroedinger’s cat.


16 posted on 01/10/2014 6:40:40 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: not2be4gotten.com

Tonight, after a month of emailing
back-and-forth, I decided to blow off a guy.

Without asking me, he made several presumptions.
I’m not that hard up -— bye-bye!

Path not taken........

Guess I’ll never know for sure, but trusted
my instincts.


17 posted on 01/10/2014 6:41:44 PM PST by krunkygirl (force multiplier in effect...)
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To: not2be4gotten.com
I like this thread! I have long considered myself a "student" of Frost -- have read all his works and visited the places where he lived and worked. I like all of the works mentioned so far ... but my favorite is --


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.

18 posted on 01/10/2014 6:44:24 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Mamzelle

Frost was a genius. He’s the only one I know who can put a sigh in a poem without using a word.
“And miles to go before I sleep
(Sigh)
And miles to go before I sleep.”
I swear I hear that sigh every time I read this poem.
The thing that I like most about Frost is that you can tell that he loved his audience. He cared. He put everything he had into those poems. I find that totally lacking in modern American poetry. Today’s poetry is one MFA writing to try and impress another MFA. Most of it is the diary of the dysfunctional. Frost writes about a stone wall and a young horse in his first snowstorm. Simple things beautifully described. The work of a master.


19 posted on 01/10/2014 6:44:29 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

My favorite is…”the only other sound’s the sweep of easy wind and downy flake…” Now, don’t you just smell the snow? The sweet, ozone-y smell of snow falling?


20 posted on 01/10/2014 6:48:15 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Oh, my. If I read that one, I’d forgotten it. NO-vember. No birds, no leaves, no fruit. No-veber.


21 posted on 01/10/2014 6:50:02 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Oh, my. If I read that one, I’d forgotten it. NO-vember. No birds, no leaves, no fruit. No-veber.


22 posted on 01/10/2014 6:50:03 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Twotone

Fantastic!


23 posted on 01/10/2014 6:52:44 PM PST by kitkat (STORM THE HEAVENS WITH PRAYERS FOR OUR COUNTRY.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You predicted that I would google that and I did which makes you wrong from the get-go if I understood what I just read about the cat paradox. ;)


24 posted on 01/10/2014 6:54:29 PM PST by JouleZ (You are the company you keep.)
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To: blueunicorn6

Frost is within the woop and weave of every American whether the know it or not.


25 posted on 01/10/2014 6:55:57 PM PST by not2be4gotten.com
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To: Mamzelle

Yep.
“Sounds the sweep”
In my mind, I always put about five more “e”s in “sweep”.


26 posted on 01/10/2014 7:06:22 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: not2be4gotten.com

I hope that you are right. I fear that he is not appreciated in today’s world.


27 posted on 01/10/2014 7:10:25 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: not2be4gotten.com

FreeRepublic is an amazing place, isn’t it? This evening I am following every posts on two topics where Freepers show their breadth of knowledge and intelligence. This one concerning poetry, and the one a few below about the 43 books on war that every man should read.

Intelligent comments. Liberals just don’t “get” us, do they?

Oldplayer


28 posted on 01/10/2014 7:13:10 PM PST by oldplayer
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To: reg45

He is no longer vogue because America has coarsened too far to appreciate his genius.


29 posted on 01/10/2014 7:13:42 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: not2be4gotten.com

Anyone who has made tough choices in their lives will come to a day when they will look back on those choices and fully understand this poem. I know at 62 I have. Some were probably right some more doubtful, but we all live with the consequences of our choices. This is something people used to understand. I’m not so sure so many do anymore.


30 posted on 01/10/2014 7:31:10 PM PST by redangus
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To: not2be4gotten.com

My very favorite Poet, and my very favorite Poem.. Thanks again..


31 posted on 01/10/2014 7:32:26 PM PST by carlo3b (Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.. Henry Kissinger)
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To: Mamzelle

>> The woods are lovely, dark and deep

Every year, I re-visit this.

And it is timeless.

My mom drummed this into my head.

And I can never be more thankful for it.


32 posted on 01/10/2014 7:37:23 PM PST by not2be4gotten.com
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To: not2be4gotten.com

I will pray for you


33 posted on 01/10/2014 7:43:05 PM PST by novemberslady
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To: reg45
Funny you should say that....Norman Rockwell is being defamed in a new biography.
34 posted on 01/10/2014 7:48:01 PM PST by Daffynition (It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.)
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To: not2be4gotten.com
Good stuff. Visiting Frost's grave in Bennington, VT is a lovely experience.


35 posted on 01/10/2014 7:51:29 PM PST by Daffynition (It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.)
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For some reason, it’s a tradition to leave a penny on his gravestone.


36 posted on 01/10/2014 7:54:08 PM PST by Daffynition (It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.)
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To: not2be4gotten.com

One of my favorites

THE WONDERFUL ONE-HORSE SHAY
by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
That was built in such a logical way
It ran a hundred years to a day,
And then of a sudden it — ah, but stay,
I’ll tell you what happened without delay,
Scaring the parson into fits,
Frightening people out of their wits, –
Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
Georgius Secundus was then alive, –
Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
That was the year when Lisbon-town
Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
And Braddock’s army was done so brown,
Left without a scalp to its crown.
It was on that terrible Earthquake-day
That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of shaises, I tell you what,
There is always a weakest spot, –
In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In pannel or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
In screw, bolt, throughbrace, — lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will, –
Above or below, or within or without, –
And that’s the reason, beyond a doubt,
That a chaise breaks down, but doesn’t wear out.

But the Deacon swore (as deacons do,
With an “I dew vum,” or an “I tell yeou”)
He would build one shay to beat the taown
‘n’ the keounty ‘n’ all the kentry raoun’;
It should be so built that it couldn’ break daown:
“Fer,” said the Deacon, “’t’s mighty plain
Thut the weakes’ place mus’ stan’ the strain;
‘n’ the way t’ fix it, uz I maintain, is only jest
‘T’ make that place uz strong uz the rest.”

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That couldn’t be split nor bent nor broke, –
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
The crossbars were ash, from the the straightest trees
The pannels of whitewood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these;

The hubs of logs from the “Settler’s ellum,” –
Last of its timber, — they couldn’t sell ‘em,
Never no axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Throughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he “put her through,”
“There!” said the Deacon, “naow she’ll dew!”

Do! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less!
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren — where were they?
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED; — it came and found
The Deacon’s masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hindred increased by ten; –
“Hahnsum kerridge” they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came; –
Running as usual; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arive,
And then come fifty and FIFTY-FIVE.

Little of of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This is a moral that runs at large;
Take it. — You’re welcome. — No extra charge.)

FIRST OF NOVEMBER, — the Earthquake-day, –
There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
A general flavor of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.
There couldn’t be, — for the Deacon’s art
Had made it so like in every part
That there wasn’t a chance for one to start.
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills
And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whippletree neither less or more,
And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,
And the spring and axle and hub encore.
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, fifty-five!
This morning the parson takes a drive.
Now, small boys get out of the way!
Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
“Huddup!” said the parson. — Off went they.

The parson was working his Sunday’s text, –
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the — Moses — was coming next.
All at once the horse stood still,
Close by the meet’n’-house on the hill.
First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Then something decidedly like a spill, –
And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
At half past nine by the meet’n’-house clock, –
Just the hour of the earthquake shock!

What do you think the parson found,
When he got up and stared around?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
As if it had been to the mill and ground!
You see, of course, if you’re not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once, –
All at once, and nothing first, –
Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
Logic is logic. That’s all I say.


37 posted on 01/10/2014 9:01:46 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: not2be4gotten.com

thought you would like knowing your ripple effect. This is the subject line in an email I sent to special friends with a link to this thread. “I think you all will enjoy the warmth of the reactions of intelligent people enjoying each other. Conservatives are really special.”


38 posted on 01/10/2014 9:16:52 PM PST by Doug in CA
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To: Mamzelle

No sun, no moon
No morn, no noon
No dawn, no dusk, no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthy ease
no comfortable feel in any member.
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds
November!

Thomas Hood, 1844


39 posted on 01/10/2014 9:22:39 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: not2be4gotten.com

How about Wallace Stevens?

The Snowman

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.


40 posted on 01/10/2014 9:33:59 PM PST by WL-law
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To: not2be4gotten.com

A great poem.

I remember Robert Frost reciting a poem at John Kennedy’s inauguration, don’t recall if it was this one. It was a bitterly cold day in Washington DC.


41 posted on 01/10/2014 10:06:01 PM PST by Pelham (Obamacare, the vanguard of Obammunism)
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To: Pelham
~ The Gift Outright ~

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

~ Robert Frost; 1874-1963 ~http://www.orwelltoday.com/jfkinaugpoem.shtml

42 posted on 01/10/2014 10:12:13 PM PST by thecodont
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To: not2be4gotten.com

The Gift Outright

The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
Robert Frost


43 posted on 01/10/2014 10:17:17 PM PST by Pelham (Obamacare, the vanguard of Obammunism)
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To: thecodont

Thanks, I was hunting for it as you posted..


44 posted on 01/10/2014 10:18:18 PM PST by Pelham (Obamacare, the vanguard of Obammunism)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Can you explain it to me?
I understand every Frost poem except this one.
I have no idea who My Sorrow is.


45 posted on 01/11/2014 3:11:40 PM PST by maxwellsmart_agent
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To: maxwellsmart_agent

With a latern that wouldn’t burn
in too frail a buggy we drove
behind too heavy a horse
through a pitch-dark limitless grove

And a man come out of the trees
and took our horse by the head
and reaching back to his ribs
deliberately stabbed him dead

The preponderous beast went down
with the crack of a broken shaft
and the night drew through the trees
in one long invidious draft

The most unquestioning pair
that ever accepted fate
and the least disposed to ascribe
any more than we had to hate

We assumed that the man himself
or someone he had to obey
wanted us to get down
and walk the rest of the way

By Robert Frost
The Draft Horse


46 posted on 01/11/2014 3:40:42 PM PST by maxwellsmart_agent
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To: maxwellsmart_agent

“My Sorrow” is the woman he loves. He sees and feels the things that she does — but they mean more to him when he hears *her* say them. Despite the general dreariness of November, he still sees the beauties that are there — and appreciates them more because of the way she sees them, too.


47 posted on 01/11/2014 5:37:20 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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