Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reluctance, a poem by Robert Frost.

Post 611 - Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, MA. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal degree from either.

In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed, and it was there that Frost was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also became friends with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work. He and his wife returned to the United States in 1915.

By the 1920s, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book — including New Hampshire (1923), A Further Range (1936), Steeple Bush (1947), and In the Clearing (1962) — his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased. Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont. He died in Boston in 1963.

About him, President John F. Kennedy said, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding."
I think this is a particularly beautiful poem.

Reluctance by Robert Frost.

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question 'Whither?'

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

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