Robert Frost

by richibi

intent this week, as always, on filling my world with poetry, indeed on becoming, learning to be, in fact, a poet, a dream I’ve had for a long, immemorial even, time, I registered for, then found myself in, a class on five early twentieth-century American poets – Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Wallace Stevens – given at the university downtown, I hoped for guidance there and some inspiration

the day was promising, the clouds were rolling by that had settled over the town, clung to it for several days now tenaciously, cherry blossoms heavy on every street awaited merely the unfettered sun to become truly and magnificently enchanting, I did a stint at the courtroom in the morning where my client didn’t show, would’ve interpreted back and forth between French and English for him, her, but left after the time it took for the judge to deliver a warrant, and for the day to have become in the interim glorious  

I’d worn a blue and white check shirt, a golden tie with a spray of countless blueberries on it, under, for the sober air of the judiciary, a tweed sportsjacket, round horn-rimmed glasses made me look, I felt, intelligent, academic, professorial

but a wine-red paisley umbrella touched with royal blue and sandy squares prepared me, I was sure, for an afternoon of poetry instead, fantasy, imagination, not to mention rain should it, however improbably, turn wet, and I knew the courtroom would’ve been able to use some of its fanciful serendipity 

I’d ventured forth therefore ready for any- and everything

                                                                                                                                    not for Frost though, who left me cold

how do you make him relevant, I asked, when the professor looked to us for comments, he’d been reading him merely, one dreary poem after another, waiting for us to break in, we’d been, or I’d been, sitting patiently, deferentially silent

is he only of historical interest or is there anything for us here, in the twenty-first century

the professor, a man with impressive credentials, appeared somewhat non-plussed, expecting reverence, I suspect, for what I considered to be twaddle, the stodgy meanderings of an old colonial man scratching out awkward rhymes in the middle of the night, something Walt Whitman had done supremely well already in his inspired poems, and Mark Twain in unforgettable, witty, pithy, pungent prose   

some in the class tried to pick out some perhaps worthy passages but floundered ultimately in a dearth of them, little by little we came to find Frost not especially pertinent or memorable, not to mention mostly curmudgeonly

here’s one however I found not bad you might’ve read, maybe even enjoyed, as I in fact did

                                                                                                                                    The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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

Robert Frost

                                                                                                                                    later at home I took on the more promising Pound

                                                                                                                                  yours in art and poetry                                                                                                                                    richibi