Thursday, January 27, 2011

thanks, mr. frost

I'm in a poetic sort of mood today, which reminded me of my most recent trip to New England and a beautiful cemetary in Bennington, Vermont. I knew Robert Frost was buried there, so I begged The Husband to pull over and all three of us piled out of our rented SUV. The October air was perfect -- crisp, not too cold, quiet, sunny. Harper was bundled in her hoodie. There was a gorgeous white church built in 1700-something-or-other, and it was surrounded by gravestones of Revolutionary War soldiers. But perhaps the most breathtaking part of the scene was the bright yellow falling leaves that seemed to be everywhere -- coating the pathways and landing softly on tombstones. Mesmerized by the beauty of the place, I couldn't stop snapping pictures. We slowly made our way through the graves, following arrows that said "Frost grave." And suddenly there it was, and I was practically alone with a poet that filled many of my days as a pupil and, later, as an English teacher. By the time we arrived at Frost's grave, I wanted to thank him for leading me to that place, a beautiful, historic cemetary on a hillside in rural Vermont. I never thanked him properly, so instead, I'll leave it with one of my favorite Frost poems and a hope that one day I'll return.

A Late Walk
by Robert Frost

When I got up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth,
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

No comments: