Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Favorite Frost Poem

I like Robert Frost. He's always been at the top of my list for good thoughtful poets, but when I was in college I took a little time, one day while I was supposed to be shelving the books, and read a few pages of his collected works.

I've decided you find the most amazing things in books when you're not supposed to be reading.

I found this sonnet:

Into My Own
by Robert Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that same day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew --
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

***
There are many things about this poem that I love. 1) It's a modern sonnet which is easy to read but, I know from personal experience, not so easy to write. 2) It's about having the courage to leave home and face the world and, in college, that was something I was only able to do in theory and with a lot of safety nets. I wanted the courage in this poem to be mine. 3) I like the last two lines. When I read them for the first time I wasn't sure I knew exactly what they meant, but I knew, for me, they were true. Now, many years after finding this poem that I love so much, I can say without a doubt that the last two lines are true. Faith in all kinds of true things grows greatest when we feel most alone but we take courage and do what we feel is right anyway.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Dear Sarah,
I love that you are reading such wonderful poems and sharing them with us. I give you my express permission to read Robert Frost when you are supposed to be shelving. Reading is SO worth the time.
Love Mark.