24 miles | Day 32 of 120

January 2. Heavy sigh. The world is restarting its routines, evidenced by thrice the number of cars in the Metra commuter lot this morning.

Once on board the train I opened the news and skipped over the story about Trump calling Pelosi’s plan a non-starter, that’s not news, that’s common knowledge. I opened a story with a picture that includes a familiar looking man.

I read the article and revisited the beloved and long ago memorized poem, Robert Frost’s, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

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.

The poem’s release from copyright protection law means Frost’s words are to be shared with everyone, and as the Washington Post points out, that means everyone from FedEx to Downy fabric softener. Frost’s words are fair game.

I don’t recall if I was in 5th or 6th grade when I first read Frost’s work. I do remember memorizing this poem and others, I remember later taking pen to ink and writing out Fire and Ice in Old English calligraphy on parchment paper, and I remember buying a book of his work in the late 80s, while I was in high school or right after I started college, which I still have.

Few artists have had the steadfast presence in my life as Frost. The thought that his work and words, some previously released, will be read, taught, consumed, and possibly commercially exploited is fine with me. Words like his, structured together like the perfect floral arrangement so that every angle can be appreciated, make people pause. In my case, they always make me reflect and smile. And I did once again this morning when my mouth mirrored what eyes read: “And miles to go before I sleep”. I was grateful to start the day with such a fond memory, though as my yawns signaled to the world I wished my four day break was extended just one more day.

19 Thoughts

  1. You know what you need with that hypnotic sound of the tracks? You reading Robert Frost’s poem!!
    I went to a French high school and feel that I missed out on a lot of classics, which is why I have since bought many of the “classics”. some of which, such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Anna Karenina”, I wonder why in the hell they became so. I actually have a volume of Robert Frost’s poetry. I think I shall take it out and peruse it more often…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good idea. I was in the front car today and the noises are more intense. It’s not the quiet car, so I could talk even if it is to myself. I packed his book a couple of months ago as I started to get the house ready for sale. I’ll appreciate it that much more when I land☺️.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re getting your house ready for sale too? Fuck. I. Have. So. Much. Shit.
        Mick’s stuff, my stuff, the boys’ stuff… STUFF! I am surrounded by STUFF!!!
        Sorry, I digressed there. Seriously. I have books I’ve never or almost never opened. The book of Robert Frost poetry being on of them (I actually did look to see if I have this poem a while ago… )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wasn’t sure if you sold? I almost put an offer on the house across the street in October, but the grade of the lot is a mess. It’d be an engineering nightmare. The plan is to list right after the Super Bowl, unless the market is soft. What’s your timing? I know it’s overwhelming.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No. Dammit. Have a new broker so I am hoping he is hungrier than the last one. I refuse to even look at any other houses until I have an offer on this one. No use falling in love with one and seeing it end up in some other’s grubby hands because mine still remains mine…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m with you now. I was worried about the timing of it. Sell one and buy another but now I don’t care if i have to rent. At least everything will be packed. And I want to find the right place for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh… French high school focused on a whole lotta nuthin’. Which really sucks because I have discovered quite a few good Quebec authors besides Yves Theriault’s “Agaguk” – the story of an eskimo (in those days, was the accepted term)…
        My love of reading and learning got sorta stumped and I feel cheated.

        Liked by 1 person

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