Boston & Books: Part 3 – Robert Frost

I’m between projects and finals at the moment, so I thought I’d take a moment to jot down a blog post (or two). I have plenty of posts planned, but finding the time is a different matter.


For my last Boston & Books series, I’m looking at Robert Frost, a fantastic New England poet. Actually, he was born in California, but he adopted New England after moving there with his family at age 11 and he never looked back. He even bought a farm in New Hampshire at one point. He died in Boston at the ripe old age of 88. I once had a BYU professor who met Robert Frost years ago. She shamelessly name-dropped. Not that I blame her. Most of Frost’s poetry focuses on rural New England life. One of his collections, North of Bostonfeature some darker themes, so if you think rural poetry is all flowers and butterflies, think again. One of Frost’s most famous poems published in this collection, “Mending Wall,” is particularly apt for New England. If you’ve ever been back east, you’ve probably noticed all the stone walls. They give New England an endearing, quaint quality.

But if I were to pick my favorite Robert Frost poem, especially with respect to the holiday season, I might have to go with “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It’s a lovely, descriptive poem that just makes you want to ride a horse through the woods during gently falling snow. See the slide show video I created of this poem. It really illustrates the description behind the poem.

Then there is “The Road Not Taken,” perhaps Frost’s most well-known poem and always a favorite at graduations:

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 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.

I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, What road am I taking? In this world, you might not want to tread in other’s footsteps if those “others” aren’t people you can respect. And you will always end up where the path takes you, so I guess this means make wise choices. It would be a shame “ages and ages hence” to regret the road you traveled.

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