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Mountain Interval (Classic Poetry)

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"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." These deceptively simple lines from the title poem of this collection suggest Robert Frost at his most representative: the language is simple, clear and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations and "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." These deceptively simple lines from the title poem of this collection suggest Robert Frost at his most representative: the language is simple, clear and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations and rural imagery, Frost fashioned poetry of great lyrical beauty and potent symbolism. Originally published in 1916 under the title Mountain Interval.


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"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." These deceptively simple lines from the title poem of this collection suggest Robert Frost at his most representative: the language is simple, clear and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations and "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." These deceptively simple lines from the title poem of this collection suggest Robert Frost at his most representative: the language is simple, clear and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations and rural imagery, Frost fashioned poetry of great lyrical beauty and potent symbolism. Originally published in 1916 under the title Mountain Interval.

30 review for Mountain Interval (Classic Poetry)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Forty six pages of greatness when all is said and done, these poems by Robert Frost beam like the autumn sun. Crisp under foot breathing fresh country air, in the land of Robert Frost the trees are never bare. With the freedom of a bird just one more thing to say, his spirit and poetic beauty is always here to stay.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    This is a short selection of poems by Robert Frost, who was born in San Francisco, California, in 1874. Although he is considered to be one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, his first collection, "A Boy's Will" was originally published in England in 1913, during the 3 short years when he lived in England, between 1912-1915. In England he made some important acquaintances, including Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke, who were both member of the group of six known as the Dymoc This is a short selection of poems by Robert Frost, who was born in San Francisco, California, in 1874. Although he is considered to be one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, his first collection, "A Boy's Will" was originally published in England in 1913, during the 3 short years when he lived in England, between 1912-1915. In England he made some important acquaintances, including Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke, who were both member of the group of six known as the Dymock poets. For the few years just before the First World War these six poets went walking in the Malvern Hills, Herefordshire and across to Gloucestershire, discussing their poetry and reading. Frost also met T. E. Hulme and Ezra Pound. Back in the USA he went on to write many more highly regarded collections of poetry, winning 4 Pulitzer prizes for poetry and was eventually awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his poetry in 1960. He died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1963. For English readers, the English connection and his English ancestry resonates, and much of the imagery used seems familiar. Usually it helps to have a frame of reference to assimilate all the nuances, but it is not quite so essential with Robert Frost's work. Nevertheless he is often more specific and localised, using colloquial American speech, with realistic depictions of rural life, specifically those in New England in the early 20th century. Frost had worked the farm for nine years while writing early in the mornings and producing many of the poems that would later become famous. Ultimately his farming proved unsuccessful and he returned to the field of education as an English teacher. His poetry can be read on many levels however, using these themes to examine complex social and philosophical issues. He has been thought of as the poet who hides the most, while appearing simple and obvious. Perhaps this explains his popularity as it is perfectly possible to enjoy the poem's imagery on a straightforward, superficial level, but there are hidden depths for those who want to find them. There follows a list of the thirteen poems in this collection, with the name and chronological order of the original collections. It can be seen that they span a broad range: The Road Not Taken (Mountain Interval, 1916) The Death of the Hired Man (North of Boston, 1914-15) The Mountain (North of Boston, 1914-15) Fire and Ice (New Hampshire, 1923) The Generations of Men (North of Boston, 1914-15) The Grindstone (New Hampshire, 1923) The Witch of Coos (New Hampshire, 1923) A Brook in the City (New Hampshire, 1923) Design (A Further Range, 1937) House Fear (Mountain Interval, 1916) The Lockless Door (New Hampshire, 1923) Storm Fear (A Boy's Will, 1913) Snow (Mountain Interval, 1916) The Road Not Taken, the first poem in his third collection of poems, "Mountain Interval" is perhaps one of Frost's most famous and well-loved poems. It is a narrative, with a strict metre and rhyme scheme. The final couplet, "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" contains a clear message that there are always two choices in life. It is also autobiographical. Not many readers may know that it is a poem about the close friendship between Robert Frost and Edward Thomas. They frequently took long walks together through the countryside, sometimes with the other Dymock poets. As Frost himself put it, the poem is "a mild satire on the chronic vacillating habits of Edward Thomas". He was amused over a familiar mannerism of Edward Thomas, who would often choose a route which might enable him to show his American friend a rare plant or special view. Invariably though, Thomas would regret his choice, sighing over what he might have shown Frost if they had taken a "better direction". Since they were such good friends, it vividly illustrates the importance of irony in understanding much of Frost's work. For, sadly, Edward Thomas failed to see either Frost's irony - or himself as the subject of the poem - and despite his wife's belief that Frost never intended a serious criticism of his friend, it is thought to be a major contributing factor in Edward Thomas's decision to enlist in World War I. He was killed in battle 2 years later. The Death of the Hired Man comes from Robert Frost's second book of poetry, "North of Boston", although it had been written earlier, in 1905 or 1906. It is a long narrative poem in blank verse, consisting almost entirely of a conversation between Mary and Warren, her farmer-husband, but as critics have observed, Frost makes the prosaic patterns of their speech sound lyrical. To Ezra Pound The Death of the Hired Man was Frost at his best - when he "dared to write ... in the natural speech of New England; in natural spoken speech, which is very different from the "natural" speech of the newspapers, and of many professors." Silas, an old workhand who used to help with the haymaking, had previously left the farm at an inconvenient time. Now though, he had returned during the Winter, looking, Mary says as she tries to appease Warren, "a miserable sight". She feels sorry for him. The couple wrestle with their consciences as to what to do about the man who seems to view the farm as home, but is not welcome. A major theme in the poem is that of the "home" or homecoming and belonging, as well as justice, mercy, friendship, guilt, age and death. The much-quoted lines, "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in." come from The Death of the Hired Man, although in the context of the dialogue they are said bitterly, and perhaps with a certain amount of sarcasm. The Mountain also comes from the collection "North of Boston" and is also a narrative poem in blank verse. The narrator is staying in a village, where a large mountain dominates the sky. On a walk around and towards the mountain, he meets a farmer, and has a conversation with him. As they discuss the mountain, the farmer tells stories about it, and it becomes clear that he is trying to persuade the narrator to climb the mountain. By the end of the poem, the mountain has been so well described that the terrain seems familiar to anyone who has walked and climbed in mountainous or hilly areas. (To an English reader it might convey the mountains of the Lake Dictrict, for instance.) The narrator has been convinced to make the climb, although the reader is left wondering whether he did so. The farmer's last words are inaudible, as he has left the scene so abruptly. There are three elements, the description, the persuasiveness of the farmer, and the narrator's actions. It is possibly a poem about manipulation. Fire and Ice is a beautifully evocative short poem; highly structured and compact. One of Robert Frost's most popular poems, it is often found in anthologies. Although it was published in his fourth collection, entitled "New Hampshire" in 1923, it had been published earlier in a magazine in 1920. It discusses the end of the world, matching the elemental force of fire with the emotion of desire, and ice with hate. It was partly inspired by Dante's "Inferno", and partly by a conversation Frost had had with the astronomer Harlow Shapley, who went on to quote it as "an example of how science can influence the creation of art, or clarify its meaning." The Generations of Men is another blank verse narrative poem from "North of Boston" in 1914-1915. Two adolescent cousins meet accidentally at the Stark family reunion. They have a conversation which varies between being nostalgic and being speculative. They show intellectual curiosity and an appreciation of literature with references to Shakespeare and Homer. At one point they invent an imaginative character, Granny Stark, showing their sense of fun. Although the poem is set in the rain there seems to be the promise of sun. The poem is celebrating continuing generations, and perhaps could be broadened to represent the cycle of birth, death and rebirth for all humanity. The Grindstone, from the collection "New Hampshire", published in 1923, is a poem about the feelings of a boy, who is reluctant to speak out in front of the man sharpening the scythe. It may be metaphorical musings about death. The grindstone would represent the speaker's life, having slowed down and being left out in the cold. The grim reaper comes around and wants to sharpen his scythe's blade. The speaker tries to help by running the grindstone faster and almost ruins the blade, which makes him laugh. The Witch of Coös also comes from the collection "New Hampshire", of 1923. Coös is an invented county in the north of New Hampshire. The inspiration for the poem is the characters in the tales of Edgar Poe who escape their incarceration or the confines of their coffins; it is a macabre ghost story. The narrator initially stresses the truth of the supernatural events he is about to tell, which he says were told to him by the witch and her son. But the tone of his language suggests that he doesn't share their beliefs - he considers them superstitious. Forty years ago, they claimed, a skeleton locked in the cellar carried itself up two flights of stairs and into the attic. These bones belonged to the woman's lover, whom her late husband had killed and buried under the house. By the end all the narrator seemed to believe was the husband's name, because there was never any evidence of human bones in the house. Frost said the theme of the poem was "murder will out - he's murder trying to get out." This treatment of women is reminiscent of some nineteenth-century literature, where the repression of women, and their restriction to the domestic sphere, force them into flights of imaginative fancy, or even madness as in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper". The reader is unsure. It may have been merely a "good yarn." A Brook in the City again comes from the collection "New Hampshire", of 1923. This time was a period of increasing industry and urbanisation, but in many ways the poem is timeless, and speaks to us even now. Robert Frost creates and contrasts images of a peaceful brook, and a hectic city. A small sewer drain of water flows through the urban city, forgotten among the tall buildings and monuments. The poet muses that there used to be farmhouses there, and the little trickle was once a strong brook. Both of these represent the rural landscape, and a simpler way of life before the area was urbanised. An apple tree which has also been lost, and in its place is a wooden house. He describes with regret that people in their greed have built over this fresh green landscape, rendering the strong force of nature weak. At night the stream still flows, but a time will come when people will forget that there ever was a brook. It will exist only on maps. The brook, like the trees, are no longer useful in this new landscape and are converted into a useful system, then covered with dirt. No one will ever know, or care, where the brook used to be; the rural landscape is being destroyed in the name of "progress". The poet concludes that people are so engrossed in their own selfish lives, that they are unlikely to ever understand this mistake; that the brook in the city also deserved a life. In our self interest we have forgotten the interests of nature. Much of the power of this poem is due to its imagery and personification, such as, "The farm house lingers" or the "brook that held". We feel the force of nature even with inanimate objects. Phrases such as, "The meadow grass could be cemented down" demonstrate both hyperbole and metaphor. The grass is not literally cemented down; it is a symbol for how nature is become overcome by cities. This poem is strengthened further by a specific rhyming scheme, which stays consistent throughout the poem. Design, from "A Further Range" of 1937, also has a very formal structure. It is a sonnet using iambic pentameter, but then the final 6 lines have a separate tight and perfect rhyming structure of their own. Typically for a sonnet, it is composed of fourteen lines and develops an argument having a shift or turn in it. Of the three different types of sonnets, (Petrarchan, Shakespearean and Spenserian) Design combines elements of both the first two. The first line, "I found a dimpled spider, fat and white. sets the rhythm and metre for the whole poem, and the first 8 lines (or "octave") follow this strictly. Then by rhyming the last two lines, there is a classic Shakespearean couplet (or "heroic couplet") within those final differently structured 6 lines. This is just a superficial analysis of the structure; it is possible to delve far deeper with more detail. But there is a reason for Frost to employ such an unforgiving structure for this poem, which becomes evident when the reader reflects on the content of the poem. It begins then, with a big white spider on a white flower, poised to eat a white moth. The narrator ponders on the idea that all three might be brought together for some ominous reason, and this leads to further questions. Why is this flower white, when it is usually blue? Why did the spider visit this particular flower? Why did the moth decide to flutter by at that specific moment? The poet concludes that if it is "design" that brought these three together, it must be a very dark design. Why would God want this moth to get eaten? And in the last line he concludes that we do not know whether there is a designer, or whether everything in life is occurs in a random fashion. It is typical of Robert Frost to notice a simple fact, a small detail in nature, and mull over it at length, so that he will question the very nature of creation, and begin to consider the basic questions we all want answered about life. But is Frost laughing up his sleeve at the reader here? First of all it seemed a deceptively simple poem about a spider, then rapidly became reflections about whether there is an intelligent design behind things, and in the end the reader becomes aware of the controlled, intelligent and contrived design behind the very structure of the poem. Frost is the master of everything that he creates in this poem, down to each individual syllable. House Fear from "Mountain Interval" of 1916, describes the caution or concern the narrator feels about what he might find entering a dark house at night. He describes the little rituals he has, such as always making a noise, or always leaving the door open until the house was lit. Is he being fearful and cowardly instead of adventurous and brave, or simply being responsible in the face of the unknown? Does it in fact indicate a loss of adventurous spirit? These fears are common to all of us to a degree, so perhaps this is rooted in an actual fear of Robert Frosts's. The Lockless Door is such a similar poem in both feeling and thematically, to the preceding one, that it is tempting to consider them as a a pair. Actually, however, it is from the "New Hampshire" collection of 1923. The poem is said to be based on an autobiographical event. Frost was extremely afraid of the dark as a child, to the point where he slept on a bed in his mother’s room through his high school years. In 1895, Frost was staying alone in a cottage on Ossipee Mountain when he heard a knock on the old, lockless door. Being too terrified to answer the door he jumped through a window in the back and only then calling out "Come in!" Next morning, Frost returned to the cottage to find one of his neighbours drunk and asleep on the floor. The poem The Lockless Door follows the action of the memory, but makes it less humorous than the original episode must have seemed in retrospect. In the poem, he creates a more ominous force outside the lockless door. He says "whatever" rather than "whoever" to emphasise the potential threat, and exaggerate the narrator's own fear of the unknown. Frost uses short, stilted lines, placing the stress on the final syllable of each statement to highlight the narrator's terror. In the final stanza, Frost is gently mocking the terrified narrator - and therefore his earlier self. He points out the irony, that one simple knock causes the narrator to leave a safe refuge and expose himself to the New England winter. He also points out that this is the first chance the narrator has had to escape his isolation, and to meet another person for a long time. Rather than communicating with another person, even in an enclosed "cage", he still chooses to abandon it. Yet in his panicky attempt to escape the person at his door, the narrator is in the end forced to interact with the rest of the world, inevitably escaping his own enforced isolation. He feels he cannot reenter his house without knowing who is in there, so the narrator finally "alters with age", adapting and meeting others. Again, this is a highly structured poem, made up of five stanzas of four lines each. Each line is very short, with only two feet per line and only one to three syllables per foot. This tight metre increases the sense of panic in the poem. Storm Fear is the only one of these thirteen poems from Robert Frost's very first collection, "A Boy's Will", published in 1913 in England, or 1915 in the USA. The poem paints a grim picture of a blizzard, portraying it as a raging beast that dares the inhabitants of an isolated house to come outside and be killed. Wind and snow are hitting a basement window, but when the speaker taunts the storm it responds and gets angry. At this point it is clear that the storm may be a metaphor, or at any rate the meaning goes beyond the literal of being stuck in a storm. Frost uses many literary devices such as imagery and personification, to get his points across. Early on in the poem, the narrator counts the people, saying there are two adults and a child. Thus the poet is using this example to say that in a difficult situation we must first take control and see what our strengths are. The poem shows how people make a determined struggle to save themselves when everything else is falling apart, ending, "And my heart owns a doubt Whether 'tis in us to arise with day And save ourselves unaided" Snow is another long narrative poem from his "Mountain Interval" collection of 1916, and weaves a story around one of Robert Frost's favourite themes. Out of this collection spanning many moods and periods, my personal favourites are The Road Not Taken, Fire and Ice, A Brook in the City and Design.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    A Boy’s Will (1914) established Robert Frost’s reputation, but Mountain Interval (1916) maintained that reputation and enhanced it. The book contains four commonly acknowledged masterpieces (“The Road Not Taken,” “Birches,”“Out, Out--,” “The Oven Bird”) and a few other popular favorites, such as the amiable “Time to Talk” (a parable of work and friendship), “Mr. Brown’s Descent” (a humorous story about an unflappable farmer), and “Christmas Trees” (seasonal haggling between the narrator and a ci A Boy’s Will (1914) established Robert Frost’s reputation, but Mountain Interval (1916) maintained that reputation and enhanced it. The book contains four commonly acknowledged masterpieces (“The Road Not Taken,” “Birches,”“Out, Out--,” “The Oven Bird”) and a few other popular favorites, such as the amiable “Time to Talk” (a parable of work and friendship), “Mr. Brown’s Descent” (a humorous story about an unflappable farmer), and “Christmas Trees” (seasonal haggling between the narrator and a city tree-broker.) But there are many other poems in this collection too, almost all of them of interest. I’m a particular fan of the darker Frost, and so my favorites here include—besides “Out, Out—” and “The Oven Bird” of course—“An Old Man’s Winter Night” (a grim reverie between sleeping and waking), “The Exposed Nest” (a couple care for—and then promptly forget about—an imperiled nest of baby birds), “The Cow in Apple Time” (a cow besotted, almost ruined with fruit), and “The Vanished Red” (the tale of the murder of the last Native American in town.) Just as good as these—perhaps better—are the three sustained narrative poems. It is in such longer, blank verse efforts that Frost often exhibits his greatest subtlety and ambiguity. “Snow,” in which a farm couple spend an evening with a local preacher seeking shelter from a winter storm, is probably the simplest, but even here the man and wife’s dislike of their surprise guest, combined with their natural human sympathy for him and his family, produce an interesting tension. In “Bonfire,” a man shares the story of a nearly catastrophic fire he once set, and tells his listener that tonight he plans to take his children up a hill so that they can all “scare ourselves” with the fire. (“War is for everyone. For children too,” he says.) But the best of the monologues is “In the Home Stretch.” Here we meet a middle aged couple, apparently without children, who has just moved in from the city into the country. The change seems to be the husband’s idea, although the wife is reconciled to it. They treat each other gently, but, although they are looking forward to this new adventure together, we also get the sense that this feels to them as if it may be their last adventure too. (Not only is this poem fine in itself, but it resonates with a series of five lyrics collected under the title of “The Hill Wife,” which is also one of the more memorable pieces in this small volume.) Here are two of the book's memorable, though lesser known, short poems. First, the melancholy inebriated cow, and secondly, the brutal accounting of the passing of the last Native American in Acton, Massachusetts. THE COW IN APPLE TIME Something inspires the only cow of late To make no more of a wall than an open gate, And think no more of wall-builders than fools. Her face is flecked with pomace and she drools A cider syrup. Having tasted fruit, She scorns a pasture withering to the root. She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten. The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm-eaten. She leaves them bitten when she has to fly. She bellows on a knoll against the sky. Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry. THE VANISHING RED He is said to have been the last Red man In Action. And the Miller is said to have laughed-- If you like to call such a sound a laugh. But he gave no one else a laugher's license. For he turned suddenly grave as if to say, 'Whose business,--if I take it on myself, Whose business--but why talk round the barn?-- When it's just that I hold with getting a thing done with.' You can't get back and see it as he saw it. It's too long a story to go into now. You'd have to have been there and lived it. They you wouldn't have looked on it as just a matter Of who began it between the two races. Some guttural exclamation of surprise The Red man gave in poking about the mill Over the great big thumping shuffling millstone Disgusted the Miller physically as coming From one who had no right to be heard from. 'Come, John,' he said, 'you want to see the wheel-pint?' He took him down below a cramping rafter, And showed him, through a manhole in the floor, The water in desperate straits like frantic fish, Salmon and sturgeon, lashing with their tails. The he shut down the trap door with a ring in it That jangled even above the general noise, And came upstairs alone--and gave that laugh, And said something to a man with a meal-sack That the man with the meal-sack didn't catch--then. Oh, yes, he showed John the wheel-pit all right.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leila

    I enjoy poetry and Robert Frost is one of my favourite poets. This book is lovely to dip into as and when the mood takes me. I have read all of his poetry in this particular book. My favourite choice is predictably ...'The Road less Travelled' His clever use of imagery lifts his poems way above the ordinary.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both … The first lines of this collection. 1916. Two years after North of Boston, but a little further from the city, seemingly. Not so many conversations, more short poems. The increasing distance from the city's "civilization" seemed to me to occasion some pretty dark poetry, not all by any means, but poems about a woman's unhappy, barren life (The Hill Wife), about two kids starting a fire in the forest just for the excitement of Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both … The first lines of this collection. 1916. Two years after North of Boston, but a little further from the city, seemingly. Not so many conversations, more short poems. The increasing distance from the city's "civilization" seemed to me to occasion some pretty dark poetry, not all by any means, but poems about a woman's unhappy, barren life (The Hill Wife), about two kids starting a fire in the forest just for the excitement of watching the burn (The Bonfire), about a terrible accident, with a very hill-people-like denouement ("Out, Out –"), about an enigmatic – what – is it a murder? – I'm not sure (The Vanishing Red). So these "dark" poems, of varying shades and intensities, reveal an aspect of the mountain culture up there north of Boston both astonishing and unpleasant. Other poems easier to read. A couple long conversation poems that I enjoyed (In the Home Stretch, Snow). Not really any "theme" that I could see - other than a newness of experience produced by contacts with people and with nature that are different than those encountered closer to the city. Wilder, more primitive, more solitary too - thus producing more elemental emotion. In some way or other I encountered these sorts of emotions in The Exposed Nest, Range-Finding, The Telephone, Hyla Brook, Bond and Free, Birches, and Brown's Descent. Then there were a few that evoked a more recognizable response: The Road Not Taken, The Telephone, Birches, A Time to Talk, The Gum-Gatherer (complicated rhyming structure with a nice rhythm), and The Sound of Trees. Perhaps after all what I think is that Frost seems to surprise me from poem to poem more consistently than I'm used to, even given my fairly limited exposure (still) to poetry. some poems and comments These two the shortest A Time to Talk When a friend calls to me from the road And slows his horse to a meaning walk, I don't stand still and look around On all the hills I haven't hoed, And shout from where I am, "What is it?" No, not as there is a time to talk. I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground, Blade-end up and five feet tall, And plod: I go up to the stone wall For a friendly visit. and Range-Finding The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung And cut a flower beside a groundbirds' nest Before it stained a single human breast. The stricken flower bent double and so hung. And still the bird revisited her young. A butterfly its fall had dispossessed, A moment sought in air his flower of rest, Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung. On the bare upland pasture there had spread O'ernight 'twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread And straining cables wet with silver dew. A sudden passing bullet shook it dry. The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly, But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew. "Out, Out –" warning (view spoiler)[ The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood, Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it. And from there those that lifted eyes could count Five mountain ranges one behind the other Under the sunset far into Vermont. And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled, As it ran light, or had to bear a load. And nothing happened: day was all but done. Call it a day, I wish they might have said To please the boy by giving him the half hour That a boy counts so much when saved from work. His sister stood beside them in her apron To tell them "Supper". At the word, the saw, As if to prove saws knew what supper meant, Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap – He must have given the hand. However it was, Neither refused the meeting. But the hand! The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh, As he swung toward them holding up the hand, Half in appeal, but half as if to keep The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all – Since he was old enough to know, big boy Doing a man's work, though a child at heart – He saw all spoiled. "Don't let him cut my hand off – The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!" So. But the hand was gone already. The doctor put him in the dark of ether. He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath. And then – the watcher at his pulse took fright. No one believed. They listened at his heart. Little – less – nothing! and that ended it. No more to build on there. And they, since they Were not the dead one, turned to their affairs. (hide spoiler)] how to comment? about a poem … The Sound of Trees I wonder about the trees. Why do we wish to bear Forever the noise of these More than another noise So close to our dwelling place? We suffer them by the day Till we lose all measure of pace, And fixity in our joys, And acquire a listening air. They are that that talks of going But never gets away; And that talks no less for knowing, As it grows wiser and older, That now it means to stay. My feet tug at the floor And my head sways to my shoulder Sometimes when I watch trees sway, From the window or the door. I shall set forth from somewhere, I shall make the reckless choice Some day when they are in voice And tossing so as to scare The white clouds over them on. I shall have less to say, But I shall be gone. The Road Not Taken first poem becomes last 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. … who can read that and not catch their breath … one of his classics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: History of Philosophy Next review: The Lost Sherpa of Happiness Older review: Hope, Human and Wild: True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth Bill McKibben Previous library review: North of Boston Next library review: New Hampshire

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Robert Frost's poetry has such a beautiful quietness to it and yet also is philosophical and thought provoking. This collection has so many great poems which certainly you have heard quoted at least once at some point in your life. A must for fans of poetry and nostalgia of an America that understood critical thinking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    I absolutely am not a poetry fan but I still have a few favorite poems from what I've heard over the years, which actually can be counted on one hand. Yep. There's Poe's The Raven, an oldie rock song or two, and then the rest would be an assortment of Robert  Frost's works: The Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Birches. This book contains two of those and then several that left no impression on me. I feel bad about that because I really love Robert Frost, or at least the I absolutely am not a poetry fan but I still have a few favorite poems from what I've heard over the years, which actually can be counted on one hand. Yep. There's Poe's The Raven, an oldie rock song or two, and then the rest would be an assortment of Robert  Frost's works: The Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Birches. This book contains two of those and then several that left no impression on me. I feel bad about that because I really love Robert Frost, or at least the idea of him.  Rural pastoral settings, woods, stone fences, walks in the snow, walks in the woods, apple picking--you get the picture.  But some of the poems are sort of nonsensical, some are more like short stories that I could not get into.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    The Road Not Taken 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 wa The Road Not Taken 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. That was a gleam of light amidst a night of few memorable lines, short stories in verse and indifference. May 03, 19 * Later on my blog.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yoda

    I forgot how much I love Robert Frost, havent read anything by him since High School and I regret it. Its soo good. I forgot how much I love Robert Frost, haven´t read anything by him since High School and I regret it. It´s soo good.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    It may sound cliched but this has always been a favorite of mine...I'm far from being able to recite any of his works, but something about curling up with this book feels like home to me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peycho Kanev

    Frost, do what only the exceptional poets do, he captures a moment, or moments that we all have experienced at one time in life all thru our whole life. "The Road Not Taken " can be placed against a passage in Longfellow's notebooks: "Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be,—a psychological romance of possibilities and things that do not happen. By going out a few minutes sooner or later, by stopping to speak with a friend at a corner, by meeting this man or that, or by tu Frost, do what only the exceptional poets do, he captures a moment, or moments that we all have experienced at one time in life all thru our whole life. "The Road Not Taken " can be placed against a passage in Longfellow's notebooks: "Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be,—a psychological romance of possibilities and things that do not happen. By going out a few minutes sooner or later, by stopping to speak with a friend at a corner, by meeting this man or that, or by turning down this street instead of the other, we may let slip some great occasion of good, or avoid some impending evil, by which the whole current of our lives would have been changed. There is no possible solution to the dark enigma but the one word, 'Providence.'" This book can be read against a literary and pictorial tradition that might be called "The Choice of the Two Paths, " reaching not only back to the Gospels and beyond them to the Greeks but to ancient English verse as well. Frost's is an Emersonian philosophy in which indecisiveness and decision feel very much alike—a philosophy in which acting and being acted upon form indistinguishable aspects of a single experience. There is obviously a contradiction in "The Road Not Taken" between the speaker's assertion of difference in the last stanza and his indifferent account of the roads in the first three stanzas. But it is a contradiction more profitably described—in light of Frost's other investigations of questions about choice, decision, and action—as a paradox. I would imagine that most readers who enjoy poetry have read this collection, or most of the poems in it. If you are wanting to discover poetry, or are just looking for a good read, this is the book and the perfect poet to start with.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I feel bad for saying this, but besides "The Road Not Taken". I really only liked two more of Robert Frost's poems. I ended up giving this 3.5 stars and rounded up to two on Goodreads. Poems have never been my thing anyway so I am not that surprised that none of them really moved me besides that one and two others. I think what got me is that most of the poems rhythm and meter seemed off because of the way that the sentences were written with commas and periods. For example from In The Home Stretc I feel bad for saying this, but besides "The Road Not Taken". I really only liked two more of Robert Frost's poems. I ended up giving this 3.5 stars and rounded up to two on Goodreads. Poems have never been my thing anyway so I am not that surprised that none of them really moved me besides that one and two others. I think what got me is that most of the poems rhythm and meter seemed off because of the way that the sentences were written with commas and periods. For example from In The Home Stretch: Never was I beladied so before. Would evidence of having been called lady More than so many times make me a lady In common law, I wonder. There were a lot of instances that I thought I had the meter down in one sentence, but would find that I was totally off by the time I got to the second and third sentence. Also the illustrated version of this was really not worth it. The pictures were just pictures of trees, roads, and were referring to the first poem, The Road Not Taken. I would probably have rated this higher if there had been additional pictures referencing the other poems. The other two poems that I liked were, "Hyla Broo"k and "Bond and Free". "Hyla Brook" made me think of summer days playing in the creeks near my home. "Bond and Free" made me think of dusk and waiting for the stars to come out at night.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    Reading Frost’s poetry is like reading well crafted stories compressed into a few pages of sublime imagery or allusions.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Poetry is not my forte, but I can respect the written word in all forms. Robert Frost was the people's writer, for nature and its constructs, for wildlife and its resilience to man, for man and his flaws to others and himself. Many of these poems stray away from convention and appear to be written as short stories in verse, yet the ones I favor are the traditional, straight-forward, highly rhythmic ones. Pitter Patter Blam-ti-blam Pitter Patter Blam-ti-blam This work probably deserves a 5 star from t Poetry is not my forte, but I can respect the written word in all forms. Robert Frost was the people's writer, for nature and its constructs, for wildlife and its resilience to man, for man and his flaws to others and himself. Many of these poems stray away from convention and appear to be written as short stories in verse, yet the ones I favor are the traditional, straight-forward, highly rhythmic ones. Pitter Patter Blam-ti-blam Pitter Patter Blam-ti-blam This work probably deserves a 5 star from this writer, but with me being a bit ignorant of this style of writing, I shall give a completely honest score of 3 stars; I liked it for what it was, but it rarely caught me here, as I point to my chest.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Lovejoy

    I got this book because one of my most favorite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I was disappointed that I didn't find more poems in this book that I really liked. Maybe I need to read it again as it often takes more than one read with poetry---and books, too, for that matter!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sachin

    "The Road Not Taken" included in the list of 10 most liked poems by American Authors of All times is truly a perfect example of interweaving of delight and wisdom. Robert Frost one of the most liked American poet with his extraordinary brilliance and also known for his ambigious approach towards things, brings forth the ultimate reality of each and every human soul faced with the fact of making a decision in life. the poem expatiates not on the choices available in one's life but on the one choic "The Road Not Taken" included in the list of 10 most liked poems by American Authors of All times is truly a perfect example of interweaving of delight and wisdom. Robert Frost one of the most liked American poet with his extraordinary brilliance and also known for his ambigious approach towards things, brings forth the ultimate reality of each and every human soul faced with the fact of making a decision in life. the poem expatiates not on the choices available in one's life but on the one choice that has to be made and the route followed which in the end, "Makes the Difference" Other Poems by Frost too are simple and move toward wisdom like Fire and Ice, Birches, Mending Wall, Neither Out Far Nor in Deep, After Apple-Picking, Design. THough categorized as a nature poet but he was undeniably the poet of man too. Peculiarly never stressing a single point of view, it seems Frost always stood at the vintage point observing the things and leaving it onto the readers to decide on their own without being didactic. Sheer Brilliance of Robert Lee Frost the New Englandian born in San Francisco.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    No one hate me for this, but Robert Frost is fucking overrated. Or maybe poetry in general just isn't for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

    I started reading Frost in high school and now after college years I still love his mastery of words. One of my favorites is The Mending WAll.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~

    This rating is not a commentary on the quality of material itself but rather of how much enjoyment I managed to derive from it. Which was next to zero. But, since its clearly a collection of very well-written and poignant, sometimes very emotional poems, I did not mind giving up a portion of my life reading it. And the iconic: Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference

  20. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Rather than focus on what I didn't like, (poetry collections are always a grab bag...) I'm going to pull a couple poems I loved and talk about them. I'll start the poem, then continue it within spoiler tags, that way you're not forced to read the whole thing if you already know it, but don't have to search it if you don't know it, or want to enjoy it again. Comments about the introduction and collection as a whole are at the end. The title work, and purpose for the book: The Road Not Taken Two ro Rather than focus on what I didn't like, (poetry collections are always a grab bag...) I'm going to pull a couple poems I loved and talk about them. I'll start the poem, then continue it within spoiler tags, that way you're not forced to read the whole thing if you already know it, but don't have to search it if you don't know it, or want to enjoy it again. Comments about the introduction and collection as a whole are at the end. The title work, and purpose for the book: The Road Not Taken 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; (view spoiler)[ 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. (hide spoiler)] I went walking downtown with a friend the other day and he said, "You can't be an American and not know - no - not love that poem." When it comes to the required memorization of poetry, this one should make the list. If there was such a list. The poem itself has gone through many interpretations, if not in America, in my mind at least. Is it a poem about determination? Grit? Taking the path less traveled is a more difficult path, but a bigger payoff for those who stay it? That's what I remember getting from high school. My wife's uncle taught the poem for several years here in Indiana. He points out the line, "I shall be telling this with a sigh..." and asks the question: "What is this sigh?" Could it be that "all the difference" Frost was referring to was a negative difference? He's looking back nostalgically wishing he'd taken the other path? But then there's this, too: "Then took the other, as just as fair," ...And this: "really about the same" Did it make all the difference? Or is Frost letting us know that it didn't make any difference at all? Is it The Butterfly Effect? Or is the ending of Trogdor where you can go back and play again and again, but it makes no difference... the outcome is the same...? Of course, with more and more theories about parallel universes being thought out out there, maybe Frost DID take both. Just read Dark Matter. Or maybe it was just a poem about a walk in the woods... Reluctance Out through the fields and the woods And over the walls I have wended;...(view spoiler)[ 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 lone aster is gone; The flowers of the witch hazel wither; The heart is still aching to seek, But the feet question ‘Whither?’ (hide spoiler)] ... 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? Instead of giving you the beginning of the poem, I decided to give you the end. I found that last stanza enlightening. It helped that I was reading it at the end of a contentious election. At the end of a political season I personally enjoyed. It would have been treason to my soul to just pretend everything was okay, and that it wasn't a big deal to me. Poetry should capture the universality of the human condition. And we've all felt this way, be it a basketball game, a book, a love. And we're not talking a mutual break up, here. This is the person you love. And it's ended. Not mutually. Or in not quite so dramatic terms, this is the missed call by the ref that cost your team the game. You expect me to just get over it? I've been following them my whole life and we're missing the playoffs by one lousy missed call? Mending Wall Something there is that doesn't love a wall,...(view spoiler)[ That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbour know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!" We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours." Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: "Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees. He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well (hide spoiler)] ...He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours." Not to get all political here, but these lines really stood out to me this time: "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence." I've always loved this poem. Ever since I was a kid. And I've wondered who is right? Is the wall a necessity? We all need boundaries in our lives? But can we go too far? And how far is too far? Are we walling ourselves in? Are we keeping others out? Do good fences make good neighbors? Or do good walls make good neighbors? Or should we have neither? If ever there were a time to answer these questions, it would seem like the time was now. The next poem is a little long, and quite depressing. Home Burial He saw her from the bottom of the stairs Before she saw him. She was starting down, Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.(view spoiler)[ She took a doubtful step and then undid it To raise herself and look again. He spoke Advancing toward her: ‘What is it you see From up there always—for I want to know.’ She turned and sank upon her skirts at that, And her face changed from terrified to dull. He said to gain time: ‘What is it you see,’ Mounting until she cowered under him. ‘I will find out now—you must tell me, dear.’ She, in her place, refused him any help With the least stiffening of her neck and silence. She let him look, sure that he wouldn’t see, Blind creature; and awhile he didn’t see. But at last he murmured, ‘Oh,’ and again, ‘Oh.’ ‘What is it—what?’ she said. ‘Just that I see.’ ‘You don’t,’ she challenged. ‘Tell me what it is.’ ‘The wonder is I didn’t see at once. I never noticed it from here before. I must be wonted to it—that’s the reason. The little graveyard where my people are! So small the window frames the whole of it. Not so much larger than a bedroom, is it? There are three stones of slate and one of marble, Broad-shouldered little slabs there in the sunlight On the sidehill. We haven’t to mind those. But I understand: it is not the stones, But the child’s mound—’ ‘Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t,’ she cried. She withdrew shrinking from beneath his arm That rested on the banister, and slid downstairs; And turned on him with such a daunting look, He said twice over before he knew himself: ‘Can’t a man speak of his own child he’s lost?’ ‘Not you! Oh, where’s my hat? Oh, I don’t need it! I must get out of here. I must get air. I don’t know rightly whether any man can.’ ‘Amy! Don’t go to someone else this time. Listen to me. I won’t come down the stairs.’ He sat and fixed his chin between his fists. ‘There’s something I should like to ask you, dear.’ ‘You don’t know how to ask it.’ ‘Help me, then.’ Her fingers moved the latch for all reply. ‘My words are nearly always an offense. I don’t know how to speak of anything So as to please you. But I might be taught I should suppose. I can’t say I see how. A man must partly give up being a man With women-folk. We could have some arrangement By which I’d bind myself to keep hands off Anything special you’re a-mind to name. Though I don’t like such things ’twixt those that love. Two that don’t love can’t live together without them. But two that do can’t live together with them.’ She moved the latch a little. ‘Don’t—don’t go. Don’t carry it to someone else this time. Tell me about it if it’s something human. Let me into your grief. I’m not so much Unlike other folks as your standing there Apart would make me out. Give me my chance. I do think, though, you overdo it a little. What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother-loss of a first child So inconsolably—in the face of love. You’d think his memory might be satisfied—’ ‘There you go sneering now!’ ‘I’m not, I’m not! You make me angry. I’ll come down to you. God, what a woman! And it’s come to this, A man can’t speak of his own child that’s dead.’ ‘You can’t because you don't know how to speak. If you had any feelings, you that dug With your own hand—how could you?—his little grave; I saw you from that very window there, Making the gravel leap and leap in air, Leap up, like that, like that, and land so lightly And roll back down the mound beside the hole. I thought, Who is that man? I didn’t know you. And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs To look again, and still your spade kept lifting. Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice Out in the kitchen, and I don’t know why, But I went near to see with my own eyes. You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby’s grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it.’ ‘I shall laugh the worst laugh I ever laughed. I’m cursed. God, if I don’t believe I’m cursed.’ ‘I can repeat the very words you were saying: “Three foggy mornings and one rainy day Will rot the best birch fence a man can build.” Think of it, talk like that at such a time! What had how long it takes a birch to rot To do with what was in the darkened parlor? You couldn’t care! The nearest friends can go With anyone to death, comes so far short They might as well not try to go at all. No, from the time when one is sick to death, One is alone, and he dies more alone. Friends make pretense of following to the grave, But before one is in it, their minds are turned And making the best of their way back to life And living people, and things they understand. But the world’s evil. I won’t have grief so If I can change it. Oh, I won’t, I won’t!’ ‘There, you have said it all and you feel better. You won’t go now. You’re crying. Close the door. The heart’s gone out of it: why keep it up. Amy! There’s someone coming down the road!’ ‘You—oh, you think the talk is all. I must go— Somewhere out of this house. How can I make you—’ ‘If—you—do!’ She was opening the door wider. ‘Where do you mean to go? First tell me that. I’ll follow and bring you back by force. I will!—’ (hide spoiler)] I've included this one because I've never read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Liz has often told me that I don't give the right responses in certain situations. But it's never been like this. It's terrible, and moving. The Wood-Pile ...(view spoiler)[Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day, I paused and said, 'I will turn back from here. No, I will go on farther—and we shall see.' The hard snow held me, save where now and then One foot went through. The view was all in lines Straight up and down of tall slim trees Too much alike to mark or name a place by So as to say for certain I was here Or somewhere else: I was just far from home. A small bird flew before me. He was careful To put a tree between us when he lighted, And say no word to tell me who he was Who was so foolish as to think what he thought. He thought that I was after him for a feather— The white one in his tail; like one who takes Everything said as personal to himself. One flight out sideways would have undeceived him. And then there was a pile of wood for which I forgot him and let his little fear Carry him off the way I might have gone, Without so much as wishing him good-night. He went behind it to make his last stand. It was a cord of maple, cut and split And piled—and measured, four by four by eight. And not another like it could I see. No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it. And it was older sure than this year's cutting, Or even last year's or the year's before. The wood was gray and the bark warping off it And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle. What held it though on one side was a tree Still growing, and on one a stake and prop, These latter about to fall. (hide spoiler)] I thought that only Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks Could so forget his handiwork on which He spent himself, the labor of his ax, And leave it there far from a useful fireplace To warm the frozen swamp as best it could With the slow smokeless burning of decay. This one, too, I liked for the ending. So I gave you that. It's short. It's worth going back and reading it, since you're probably less familiar with this one than "The Road Not Taken." I've been recording an album. For years. And it's done. It's been done. There's just one song that I haven't finished. It needs drums added. It's my wood pile. It's sitting there, waiting to be heard. But I'll never get around to throwing it on the fire. ...Which may be more essentially what I've done. There were many more poems I liked. Poems worth talking about. "Revelation." "The Black Cottage." "Birches." "Good Hours" (about missing your chance). "The Bonfire" (war is for children, too). "The Exposed Nest." And Frost's chillingly depressing, "Out, Out-." But you've had your taste of Frost for now. He's good, and the collection is good. At 115 pages not counting the introduction, it's a relatively quick read - depending on how you read poetry. David Orr's introduction did exactly what you'd expect it do. We learned about Frost's place in American poetry. That there were really two Frosts - the early one (which was sampled here) and a later Frost who more or less broke from his former conventions. And it discussed the title poem at length. I'll add that it's a beautiful little book. Great cover. Great font. The page edges are rough. I love that in a book of poetry.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ðɑηηɑ

    I have never liked poetry that much, which does not make much sense, since I love songs with beautiful lyrics. Yet, we have learned a poem of Robert Frost in English class in school and I really liked it - 'The Road Not Taken', actually. The english itself is not as hard as it might seem, and I could actually make sense out of it, and even enjoy it. The thing is, in class, we were discussing this poem forever and I, who got the meaning of the poem from the very first lesson, could not stand just I have never liked poetry that much, which does not make much sense, since I love songs with beautiful lyrics. Yet, we have learned a poem of Robert Frost in English class in school and I really liked it - 'The Road Not Taken', actually. The english itself is not as hard as it might seem, and I could actually make sense out of it, and even enjoy it. The thing is, in class, we were discussing this poem forever and I, who got the meaning of the poem from the very first lesson, could not stand just digging into it. So I asked the teacher to quiz me, which she did, and after I got my A she let me read the whole book - this one. So while my fellow-pupils enjoyed only one poem,I could enjoy the whole collection. It was beautiful, quite ellegant and a candy not only to petry fans, and you do not have to be an adult or a geek to understand and slightly like poetry, I discovered it's a gift we all have inside, we just have to let it out. Two Road Diverged in a yellow wood And I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. ENJOY

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arcadia

    Robert Frost is one of the most wide-read poets out there. And 'The Road Not Taken' is one of the most wide-read poems out there. With reason too. An excellent emancipatory poem that uses a road as the classical metaphor for life. The other poems in this collection however, where mystifying and frankly, quite uninspiring. The short ones were fine, I even liked "Design" and "House Fear", the latter sent the heebie-jeebies crawling down my neck. However, the long ones, particularly "The Generation Robert Frost is one of the most wide-read poets out there. And 'The Road Not Taken' is one of the most wide-read poems out there. With reason too. An excellent emancipatory poem that uses a road as the classical metaphor for life. The other poems in this collection however, where mystifying and frankly, quite uninspiring. The short ones were fine, I even liked "Design" and "House Fear", the latter sent the heebie-jeebies crawling down my neck. However, the long ones, particularly "The Generations of Men" I only have to say '??????????'. 75% speech marks that lacked poetry and interest. Despite this, I was enthralled by some of these cumbersome, speech mark filled poems, such as "The Death of the Hired Man" and "Snow". This last one, the last in the collection was curious in it's pointless fable style. I've gotten a taste of Robert Frost now though. I'll have to wait to dive into his wonders and nuggets of wisdom.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Stumpp

    I doubt anyone who has avoided reading Robert Frost is going to do it just because I say so. If you've never read a Frost poem, you've done so deliberately. All I can say is you're missing out. This collection is particular is very good. Editor Louis Untermeyer divides the collection into the various phases of Frosts career and adds commentary worth reading. I highly recommend Frost in particular to fiction writers, especially Frost's narrative poems, which are subtle and piercing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kells Next Read

    Borrowed this from my local library because I wanted to read my favorite poem by Mr Frost, The Road Not Taken. I absolutely love this poem, It's like my motto I try to live by. Anyways..I enjoyed this quick read and found a couple other poems to add to my collection. ( The four starts is for that poem alone hahaha )

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley doruyter

    i love the title poem but my real fav isn't in this collection;( i love the ones with snow in them, i don't know why.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kier Scrivener

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. This is a beautiful poem whether you see it as sarcasm or individuality. I want to read more of hs work. "was my rather private jest at the expense of those who might think I would yet live to be sorry for the way I had taken in life."-Robert Frost

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    This is my favorite poem, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who loves good poetry, good meter, and poignant literary observations.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Illiterate

    Frost suggests we live between a past we chose and a future it constrains, eg. abstract Road not Taken & concrete Home Stretch.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Taymara Jagmohan

    A man of true sagacity. Look me into his eyes, and see his warm prose. He writes like a tree, and lives as tall as one. Robert Frost is a poet. He adjusts his imagination to reality, and adds inspiration to all his voices. A common man with the most magical words. He doesn't ask for the wise to worship his words, and that's one of the glories of a true writer. They don't gratify anyone's compliments, but they know deeper in their depths what they are made of. What this poet mentioned dug a life int A man of true sagacity. Look me into his eyes, and see his warm prose. He writes like a tree, and lives as tall as one. Robert Frost is a poet. He adjusts his imagination to reality, and adds inspiration to all his voices. A common man with the most magical words. He doesn't ask for the wise to worship his words, and that's one of the glories of a true writer. They don't gratify anyone's compliments, but they know deeper in their depths what they are made of. What this poet mentioned dug a life into my littleness- "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." The above lines have made the noblest sense. I cannot express how this man hugs my Literary heart. He is very warm, and can capture a woman in her potential depths. I liked these lines as well- I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better. I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. Aren't they beautiful? Oh yes! My father finally agreed to send me to study Literature, but only after I finish my Masters in Law. :) Wow. Taymara.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kiley Stevenson

    The Road Not Taken: Robert Frost Personal Response: This is a very beautiful poem and has a lot of hidden meaning within it. I really enjoyed reading it. Plot Summary: The Speaker stands in the middle of the woods looking at two roads diverging trying to decide which path to take. He examines both roads and comes to the conclusion that the two roads are basically identical. They both seem to have been walked across equally and both have leaves scattered across them. He chooses one path telling hi The Road Not Taken: Robert Frost Personal Response: This is a very beautiful poem and has a lot of hidden meaning within it. I really enjoyed reading it. Plot Summary: The Speaker stands in the middle of the woods looking at two roads diverging trying to decide which path to take. He examines both roads and comes to the conclusion that the two roads are basically identical. They both seem to have been walked across equally and both have leaves scattered across them. He chooses one path telling himself that he will take the other path another day. Even though he knows he will probably never come back to this same place and that he wouldn't ever take the other road. He then says that he knows years from now he will think back to this moment and wonder what would have happened if he took the other path. When he tells this story of him traveling through the woods he will say that he took the road less traveled by because of the mind’s ability to mold the past into a particular story. Characterization: The speaker isn't really described. You don't learn much about him, you only know what he thinks while he is deciding which road to take. He seems like and intelligent and wise man. Recommendations: I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the classics. Anyone of any age and gender should read this poem, it is not difficult to read.

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