I let my neighbour 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 out-door 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 neighbours."
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the works of Robert Frost. I remember devouring every morsel of information about him when "Look" magazine featured him in their publication following his death. His work struck a chord in my heart. I love the rhythm in his verses, I love the way he takes the mundane nuances of life and weaves a universal connection to which everyone can relate.
I like to study his picture, and imagine all the experiences he had in life which led him to sharing his humble, yet poignant material. When I read the verses above, they almost "rock" me to sleep. If I am stressed, his words calm me down.
I have never been a voracious reader, which accounts for my ignorance in executing good mechanics in my own writing.
But I still feel the rhythm in my veins. Frost's work ,(like Yeats; T.S. Eliot,;Dickens; F Scott Fitzgerald) inspires me to write. What especially appeals to me about Frost is the simplicity of his work.
When I examine the verses I intuitively understand what he is saying. I don't have to keep digging to understand. There is no struggling, just surrender and joy.
I especially like his name, Robert Frost. It fit his image, with his mountain of white hair and his life in New England.
I find that I relate to his work, especially in one of his most memorable pieces "The Road Less Traveled:"
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 can actually see the road. And who has not come to a fork road in their life? How many times have we struggled with decisions; which again, lends itself to how effectively Frost taps into the human soul.
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.