Neglect and Restoration

download1I love the poetry of Robert Frost. A few days ago I was reading his poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” These lines leapt out at me

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.

It’s hard to explain, but it was as if these words made a gentle expedition in to my depths, held out their hands and rescued a part of me I had neglected for a long time. It was such a warm and healing experience. What amazed me was how these words could rest so quietly between the pages of a book and then suddenly become so alive and restorative as my eyes fell upon them. But I suppose that’s the wonder of poetry.

Anyway, at the end of the day, as the sun was setting, I whispered into the evening breeze a “thank you” to Robert Frost. I hope he heard.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Identity, inspiration, Life, Poetic Imagination, Poetry, Spirituality, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Neglect and Restoration

  1. darrelhoff says:

    I should read more poems.
    Maybe not in the way it affected you… but those lines also resonate within me and “call me”
    i am evolving forward… slowly…

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  2. I have loved this poem since I was a child, and my father read it to me from his favorite book Best Loved Poems of the American People. I still quote it frequently sixty years later! It is timeless. Sometimes words can speak to us and give us incredible comfort, inspiration, remind us of who we really are.
    As an adult I’ve read other books on Frost, and he was really quite an amazing guy. Refused to be boxed in. I recommend getting a volume of his letters to a friend. Very entertaining.

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    • Don says:

      There’s something wonderful about a poem that has lived with us. As you say, Sheila, words speak and there is a continual speaking in us when we carry a poem as you have done with this one. Yes, Frost certainly couldn’t be boxed in. I loved that about him. Thanks for your recommendation. I will explore it. Sounds very interesting.

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  3. I love this poem and others by Frost too. Recently we travelled through Frost country and I bought a slim volume of poems I mostly didn’t know, though I have quoted the title poem before, The Road Not Taken and Other Poems. One called In the Home Stretch spoke so loudly to me just as this one did to you. Do read it, it’s also very beautiful and touching. I’m working my way through the book….
    All the best to you and yours, Don
    Sally

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    • Don says:

      Thank you Sally. I’m so glad you enjoy him too. I think I remember you saying in one of your posts that you enjoyed him so much. I certainly will read the poem you mentioned. And thank you for sharing your travels. Been a pleasure walking with you.

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  4. Mary says:

    Beautiful post Don, he is one of the best with words that outlast the test of time.

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  5. He’s a genius! I love his poetry…

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  6. Theo Coggin says:

    Poems, and moving narrative, are important to enrich one’s means of communication, as well as one’s life. We have just been studying the last article written by Alan Paton, days if not hours before he died. In it he quotes extensively from those who moved him. The result is a brilliant piece.

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  7. Forest So Green says:

    One of the beauties of poetry is the way it can reach out to people, Annie

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  8. nrhatch says:

    Those lines resonate with me as well, Don. What wonder we experience when our awareness rests on just the right words.

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  9. Kind and thoughtful of you to whisper, Don. I’ve always believed that words, even the most simple, have powerful potential. Warming, to me, that Mr. Frost was able to do this for you.

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  10. Don, I love that poem, too… you might enjoy the videos (in the link) of Robert Frost reading that poem and a few others… I think the videos are very special. http://poemsbyokie.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/robert-frosts-poems-read-by-robert-frost/
    (that’s the blog of my 97 year old aunt…she still deeply loves Robert Frost’s poetry, too ) )

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    • Don says:

      Glad you enjoy the poem as well Kathy. I went to the videos. What a joy to see him reading his own poems. Your Aunt must be quite a person. To have a blog at that age is simply marvellous. I notice she hasn’t posted for quite awhile is she okay?.

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      • Hi Don, Isn’t that special to see and hear Robert Frost reading his own poems. I find it very moving.
        My aunt is remarkable. I just talked to her by phone (she lives in New Hampshire, north of Boston…I live in California) She just celebrated her 97th birthday and is feeling well. (I need to change the name of the blog to “97 and still writing” ) She mentioned that she is still going to the weekly “writing group” where she lives, but no one else goes…she misses the interaction with other people who like to write and wishes others were there, too.
        btw… I started that blog and add her writing to it, because I find her ideas inspiring and thought others might, too …I haven’t added much since June because I got a bit overwhelmed keeping 3 different blogs going. I’ll start adding to her site more regularly since people seem to enjoy her insights and ideas. I have many more selections and she mentioned that she’ll send some of her more recent writing, too.
        ( I need to keep the ideas in this post in mind… (Kay, in that post, is Okie’s younger sister) http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/before-life-hurries-on-live-love-encourage-appreciate-thrive/ )

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      • Don says:

        Thanks Kathy. She certainly sounds like a remarkable woman. I think it would so worthwhile to continue to post her ideas.

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  11. katy says:

    The power of the written word!!! It can transport you to places where everything around you fades into the deep distance, you enter a bubble and become utterly oblivous to everything except the words you are reading. Thanks for sharing Don!

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  12. Shweta says:

    I am not a poetry person but some lines do reflect a deeper meaning about life and do catch our attention. Thanks for sharing Don!

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  13. ladyfi says:

    Poetry enriches us in a way that novels cannot. And I adore Frost!

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  14. Thank you for this beautiful share Don. I too feel a deep resonation with that closing stanza. That entire poem moves me deeply and I am so glad I memorized it years ago. More than any other it brushes my skin with goosebumps in a heart-tugging and touching way. Cheers from a fellow Frost fan, Gina

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Gina. Good to have you as a “fellow Frost Fan” – reminds me of another line, the “forest’s, ferny, floor.”

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      • Wow, thank you! Now that I looked it up and read and reread The Listeners, I feel that longing to memorize a new (well, old) poem. Such talent Walter De La Mare had, and I look forward to discovering more. I’m so glad my turn of phrase reminded you of a similar sounding one!

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      • Don says:

        Yes it is a wonderful poem. Gina. Also one of my favourites. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  15. Lorem Ipsum says:

    Don, I think that the very power of poetry is that it gives us reason to stop. And this is, I believe, expressed earlier in the poem where Frost writes:

    “My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near”

    But equally, as you say, the power of poetry is the power to heal. And I thank you for reminding me of this role of the poet.

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  16. That’s Robert Frost for you, Don. His poetry sneaks up on you with a quiet truth when you least expect it. “…And miles to go before I sleep…” is a life reminder like none other.

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  17. Hudson Howl says:

    Those we call poets, though poets see themselves I think as just ‘simply shaking’ like everyone else, use the breeze of the page to whisper their thoughts to those who dare and care to whisper back. Am certain that Frost caught your whispered message. In fact, I’ll go as far to guarantee it, that he got your message as soon as the last word was written and the ink dried all those years ago. The poignancy of poetics has or had, no sense of time -past, present or future. A whisper is mute if no one whispers back. Brave of you to whisper into the breeze Don.

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  18. Pingback: Sense And Nonsense | Spirit Lights The Way

  19. safia says:

    The beauty and power of those quoted words lies in Frost’s ability to transport the reader – I feel the muffled effect of deep snow in a wood and the deadened thud of the pony’s hooves. Lovely. Do you like Gerard Manley Hopkins? Like this Frost poem, ‘Pied Beauty’ is one that has stayed with me for many years.

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    • Don says:

      That he does safia. he does have this wonderful ability to transport you, as you say. I love the way you describe your feelings – poetry in itself. Yes I do enjoy Gerard Manley Hopkins. I’ll never forget when I first read his poem, “Pied Beauty” how I went outside and looked and was suddenly surprised by just how “dappled” in colour and shape everything really was. One of those moments you never forget. Really appreciate your comment -thank you.

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  20. cindy knoke says:

    one of my earliest poetic idols! love your posts~

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