Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, a poem by Robert Frost

Another poem this week by Robert Frost, and this is another of my favorites. Frost once said that, "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper." The following chronology may explain why he held this opinion:

1879 – Frost attended kindergarten, but went home after one day suffering from nervous stomach pain and did not return.

1880 - Attended first grade, but soon dropped out again.

1881 - Entered second grade.

1882 - Dropped out of school and was educated at home.

1885 - Father died of tuberculosis on May 5, leaving family with only $8 after expenses were paid. Family moved to Lawrence, Mass. to live with grandparents. Entered third grade after testing.

1886 - Moved to Salem Depot, New Hampshire, where mother taught the fifth to eighth grades. Frost entered the fifth grade.

1888 - Passed entrance examinations for Lawrence High School in June. Enrolled in "classical" college prep program.

1889 - Finished school year at head of his class.

1890 - First published poem, "La Noche Triste," based on an episode in Prescott's Conquest of Mexico, appeared in the Lawrence High School Bulletin in April.

1891 - Passed preliminary entrance examinations for Harvard College.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by 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.

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