“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

And I have promises to keep…

Recently a friend tagged me on Facebook where she had posted a video of Robert Frost reciting his work “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” a poem I haven’t revisited in many years.
It was wonderful to be reminded of its beauty — the simplicity of the language, the pleasing rhyme scheme, the marvelous enjambment in the third stanza, the layers of meaning  — so I sat and stared at it for awhile.
It speaks to me particularly at this time of year. I’ve never been very rah-rah about celebrating the passage of time, and every New Year’s Eve brings with it a heavy sense of melancholy and ennui, a sense that I still have miles to go but less time to go it in.
Cheery, right? Mr. Frost thinks so too.

Robert Frost

But don’t worry! I usually rally on January 2 and jump into the fray again.
In the meantime, though, I won’t think about those miles to go, or those many, many promises to keep. Rather, I’ll just sit here a while on my horse and enjoy the quiet beauty. Won’t you join me?

Happy New Year!

Now why don’t you stop by Heidi’s place at myjuicylittleuniverse for more Poetry Friday goodness?

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See more poems in my poetry video library.
Post content © 2017 Renée M. LaTulippe. All rights reserved.


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  1. There’s nothing better than a poem recited by the poet. I rally soon after 1/1 too. I’m not fond of New Year Eve. I usually count the night before a school year as the “big” night. I wish you beautiful words in 2018.

  2. Yes, a deeply layered poem that Robert Frost painted in words. And I have those many “miles to go” too. Thanks for his beautiful montage you wove together Renée of his poem, video, and the inviting image on top. Happy New Year!

  3. I agree, Renee – the plain-spoken quality is especially appealing. Frost often managed to make the most beautiful poems sound like regular speech, didn’t he? I’d love to be able to do that. Here’s a Happy New Year to you and your family – it’s coming all the way across the North American continent, across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Straight of Gibraltar, half way across the Mediterranean Sea to your neck of the woods. Felice anno nuovo!!

    1. Well, for sure that’s what contributed to his exalted place in American poetry — layered meaning through accessible language. I’d love to be able to do that too. This poem feels effortless … something to strive for! Happy New Year to you, too, dear Julie, across the many miles! <3

  4. I’m right there with you, Renee, on the feelings about New Years Eve/Day. I’ve never felt terribly celebratory about it. In fact it’s always been slightly depressing. Not sure exactly why, but there it is. I have always adored Stopping By Woods and Mending Wall, come to think of it. So powerful to hear Frost’s voice. Many thanks, Renee. Best wishes, Christie

    1. It’s good to know one is not alone in the anti-NYE sentiments, Christie, but I suspect there are many of us. 😀 And thank you for reminding me of “Mending Wall,” which I just went to reread. How very timely, don’t you think?!

  5. Thank you for the voices of both Garrison Keillor and Robert Frost. Like Linda, it brought a tear to my eye. Amazing to learn that he wrote it in the summer!

  6. I just sold a picture book of this poem to a dad and his daughter at the bookstore. It makes me happy to feel his words as reflections, but at this time of year, there is a kind of “sigh”, time to start anew. Thanks, Renee and Happy New Year!

  7. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always bring me melancholy too. With my birthday the day after New Year’s, I spend (too much) time thinking of all that I still hope to do. This is my favorite RF poem. Thank you for reminding me to read it again. Linda xo

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