Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Promises to Keep

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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.

You have until Sunday 6th January to listen to the BBC iPlayer broadcast about Robert Frost's poem and his home in Vermont where it was written.   Strangely enough he wrote it early in the morning on 21st June, the longest day.   The narrator of the broadcast, a Scots poet, recounts that when he asks groups of children who they think is telling the story, they invariably say Father Christmas.   Frost was very happy for us to have our own interpretations, so I hope you find a way for it to speak to you and have the time to listen to the programme (30 minutes).

The fabulous woodblock print is a card I bought from Etsy long ago and thought the title was joyfully evocative - I had no idea then that it was a line from what has become a favourite poem. You can click on the photograph and see it better in close-up.

Apology:  Every cloud has a silver lining, if you are of a mind to make it so.   But sometimes the grey lowering weather front takes a while to pass overhead and you can lose your confidence in the certainty of a shining lining.   The last few weeks have taken me into some terra incognita, full of dragons, bewilderment and sometimes despair.   The details are someone else's story, so will not be related here, but I claim the right to use it as a reason for the lack of blogging.   But I'm back.   I have promises to keep.


Magic Cochin said...

Welcome back to a brand new year!

I too heard the Robert Frost broadcast - doesn't radio come up with lovely surprises sometimes?!


Toffeeapple said...

So good to have you back! Happy New Year!

thewildhare said...

Ah, welcome welcome back!

A wonderful favorite poem, a wonderful favorite poet. Thank you for sharing, and for being back. :)

narkeymarkey said...

thanks for sharing, i'll be checking out the i-player to hear the program.

sorry to hear that you've been through difficult times but i'm glad those grey clouds have cleared :)

Jill said...

This poem took me right back to my school days - I can remember picturing the scene when I first heard it and it is just as vivid now.
Lovely to hear from you.

Menopausalmusing said...

How lovely to see you back Chrissie! What a lovely woodblock print and poem. Your comment re the "Mumbai Chuzzlewits" fascinated me............. :O)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Chrissie for the link to the Robert Frost broadcast. Stopping by Woods has been one of my favourite poems for years and I was really interested to hear about how it was written. I particularly loved the version sung by the male voice choir - how soulful and evocative. Thanks again my friend - a lovely way to spend 30 minutes of my day.
P.S. Welcome back!

AltheaP said...

Hi Chrissie. I was directed here by a Pinit post and remembered lovely chats on Etsy. Hope you're still working.