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.
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?
See more poems in my poetry video library.
Post content © 2017 Renée M. LaTulippe. All rights reserved.
Perfect poem to end the year, Renee! Yes, the ennui! But glad to hear about the rallying! I go through something similar!
I guess it’s pretty common, BJ, but ugh!! Bring on the “normal” days! 😀
This poem is always worth revisiting and it’s especially delightful to hear the poet read it aloud. Thanks for reminding me to stop and enjoy the quiet beauty.
Thanks for stopping with me, Molly! I agree about hearing the poet, and was so happy my friend tagged me on the video. What a find!
My favorite poem from childhood!
This and “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (Ponyboy!) are nostalgic favorites. 🙂
It has always been one of my favorite poems and to hear it spoken in his voice makes it even more special.
I have a sneaky feeling that 2018 is going to be awesome.
Thanks for bringing this video to my attention, Elaine! And fingers crossed that your predictions are right! <3
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.
I totally agree with your “big night,” Linda. Even though I don’t teach anymore, for the “new year” always starts in September.
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!
Happy New Year! May your miles be easy traveling!
My favorite poem! Lovely to listen to this morning! His book of poetry is one of the first I ever bought. I love his voice and Angela Mayou’s when they read their poetry!
Glad you had some Frost with your breakfast, Sherry! 😀
Yes, I think I feel a bit if the same every year, but at least we both rally eventually! 🙂
Rah rah to you, Jane! 😀
I love that New England accent. That last line repeating is quite perfect for New Year’s Eve.
Yup, this poem really hit me as a perfect year-end poem. May have to make it a personal tradition to read it every year.
Love the reading, and it was good to hear Garrison Keillor’s voice again, too.
I totally debated on posting it because of Keillor’s voice but … it was too good not to.
I find this such a peaceful poem. There is something about the cold and snow that invites contemplation–but not too long outside! Happy New Year!
I LOVE snow and have missed it ever since I moved to Italy, so it was lovely to sift through all the images of snowy woods for this post. Sigh.
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!!
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
Renee, take a look at Frost’s sonnet, “Putting in the Seed.” It’s a perfect poem to have in your head as winter moves toward spring (“…go along with you ere you lose sight / of what you came for and become like me / slave to a springtime passion for the earth…..” ) Here’s a link: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/putting-seed
So incredible to hear him reciting my favorite poem. Brings tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing this.
Aw, so glad you took a moment to stop here by the woods!
I love Frost (and particularly what he does with this scene’s rhyme scheme), so thank you for sharing this, Renee!
YES! It was particularly the rhymes scheme that I stared at for a while…so easy, so pleasing…
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
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?!
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!
I think I also read that the repetition of the last line came about because he didn’t know how else to end it. Sometimes genius isn’t planned. 😀
Never gets old never gets old never gets old. Let us alternate reflective melancholy and optimistic rally, my friend Renee, and merry happy and bright to you and yours in 2018!
I’m working on it, Heidi! Rah rah and all that! Happy New Year to you and yours as well. 🙂
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!
There’s a PB version???? I need to go find that! Happy New Year, Linda!
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
At least we know we’re not alone, Linda! I wish you a very happy new year, and an early birthday wish for easy traveling on those many miles!
Nothing like ending the year with a Robert Frost poem! I am filled with serenity as I read it. Thanks for sharing this classic!
Renee, are you hosting this week? Sorry to painfully early, but I won’t be able to link up tomorrow morning. Can you post my link for me? In this week with a found poem for Dr. Suess’s birthday (a day early at my school because we have a half-day tomorrow). Thanks!