16 December – Words from Frost

Photo by Gail Weiss Gaspar, http://idecidecoach.com/

Photo by Gail Weiss Gaspar, http://idecidecoach.com/

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

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.

 

Where are you going? What promises must you keep?  How many miles?

How does this writing prompt advent calendar work?
This entry was posted in Travel, Writing, Writing Prompt Advent Calendar 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 16 December – Words from Frost

  1. I love this poem by Robert Frost. What serendipity, Melissa, that you chose this poem to accompany my photograph. I memorized and recited this poem as a child, at my father’s request. Those last 4 lines especially speak powerfully to me. For what promises we must keep are often delayed or ignored, unless we are very conscious about keeping them. http://iDecideCoach.com

    • Melissa says:

      Memorizing poetry is so powerful. Especially if they are poems memorized as a child. What a lovely gift from him – you can always draw on the poem. I agree with you about the promises we keep. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Melissa says:

    When I chose this poem, I was thinking of the last stanza – that’s the one that echoes in my mind often when I have miles to go before I finish something. But when I read it today, it was first three stanzas that made me stop. Perhaps it was a thought in my mind from one of Marie’s comments yesterday about finding a moment in the bustle, but it’s as if the poem is about the pause as much as it is about the journey. The title, after all, is ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’

    As for the answers to my own questions, I’ll just keep writing on that – I’ve miles to go.

  3. Jill says:

    To me, the last lines of this poem have always sounded as if they’re about death.

    I’m on a slow horse, and we’re both happy with the pace we’re going. Our progress is leisurely enough to feel restful and allows me to appreciate the beauty of the woods. But we are not standing still: new things come into view. If snow begins to fall too fast and it feels like we might get stuck in place, we will set about finding a different route. My eventual destination is indeed the end of my life. I will now make a promise to myself that when I get there, if I am fortunate enough that my mental faculties allow it, I will marvel at how the world has changed over the course of my lifetime.
    p.s.: I do hope that I still have very many miles to go.
    p.p.s.: These woods may belong to someone with a house in the village, but they’re ours while we pass through.

    • Melissa says:

      It never occurred to me that this poem could be about death. I wonder if that could be because I first read it at a very young age and didn’t ever really think too much about it with subsequent readings. Funny how we can get stuck in an initial interpretation of something. I do very much like your reading and reflection here. And I agree – the woods are ours while we pass through. Who owns the woods?

      p.s. I hope we both have many more miles to go!

  4. Christina says:

    I’ve never come across this poem before. I love it. I meant to write a short piece inspired by it when I read this prompt yesterday, but I got too taken up with thinking about the poem. I was frustrated that the writer couldn’t go into the woods, and wondered what promise could be so important that it was keeping him from them. I love woods. I think I’d have just gone in.

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