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Woods, Snow and Poetry

Whenever there is snow on the ground and I am walking in the woods, usually Grinlow or Corbar, this poem always comes to mind. Perhaps Robert Frost's best known work, the poem is based on Frost's own experience in returning home from a market during a long and cold New England winter. Frost had had a less than successful day and had come home empty handed. There is a wistful feel to the poem, a desire to linger and delay the trip home perhaps? However his horse shakes him from his thoughts and aware of his responsibilities he sets of to finish his journey.

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.

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost.

POEM – Jack in the Green by Peter Allsop

"I knew he watched from among the foliage"

In younger days I walked the woods,
That spoke the language of birds and earth
And searched for him whose name I did not know.
Yet even then, in childhood games
I knew he watched from among the foliage,
His leaf mask smiling through
The scented blossom
Of those joyous infant years.

In the brook I paddled
Near my grandma’s cottage,
Forging up-stream in search of its source.
A waterfall I found
That tumbled into a pool,
Where trout flashed
Like silver stars
In the depths of its dark mystery.

This he showed me,
Him whose name I did not know.
This fountain of knowledge;
This secret fount of childhood dream
That seems strangely blurred now,
With the passage of two score years.

Yet still I glimpse him
In woodland glades
Or in lonely copses
That crown our hollow hills.
Now we smile in recognition:
Yet through the ferny gloom
I witness in his wise eyes
A sense of loss,
Deeper than
The void of space
And the passage of dying stars.