Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Black-Feathered Frost


I admit I was never a fan of Robert Frost. But then, I seemed never to care much for any of the writers who were required reading in grade school. It may have been because it just wasn't 'cool' to actually like your required readings. Or maybe it was because Frost was just too close to home? Maybe I always thought that nothing that takes place (or took place) within a 20 mile radius of my New Hampshire childhood house could possibly be worth any real interest? But I just realized that I never gave poor Mr. Frost a second chance, since grade school, to win me over.

And here I am, 33 years old, in one of the largest, busiest cities in the world, 5 hours away from New England, 240 miles away from that simple, beautiful Robert Frost Farm in Derry NH. Here I am, homesick for New England. Here I am, claiming to have a thing for poetry.

And I've never given him a second chance.

We just got buried up to our necks in one of the biggest snowfalls I've seen in a very, very long time. I was sitting all bundled up on the subway last night, drunk, on my way home from a night out with my friend Roger, and I looked up on the wall of the subway car and noticed a poem (part of the MTA's 'Poetry In Motion' project), and I read the lines and immediately felt incredibly touched, emotional, and I instantly longed for New England. And then I looked to see who the writer is, and I was surprised to see that it's Robert Frost! And then I re-read the poem a few times, and I thought to myself, "Well duh. Of course it's him. Who else would end a poem with the words '...of a day I had rued'?" And so now, one of my new tasks is to rediscover Robert Frost.

Dust of Snow

The way a crow

Shook down on me
The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart

A change of mood
And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

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