Vox Populi

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Robert Frost: The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
Like a pistil after the petals go.

The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place’s name.

No more it opened with all one end
For teams that came by the stony road
To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs
And brush the mow with the summer load.

The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh
From too much dwelling on what has been.

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm:
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe the phoebes wept.

Public Domain. 

4 comments on “Robert Frost: The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

  1. Cindy Ryan
    September 12, 2020


    Liked by 1 person

  2. kennethrosenpoet
    September 11, 2020

    Thanks for prompting/coaxing me to read this again, coaxed and prompted by the interest and trust Vox Populi has so regularly/reliably fostered. How my esteem for Frost’s focus on Coos County hard-bitten “Country Things” gratefully swells, almost weans me from Hamlet’s nasty Mobius strip hypnosis. Like a wild boar with a sore tail’s coiled incisor piercing its own upper lip, fixing it in a permanent snarl. Now I must read it again. I need to give more blunt, fruitless, virtually tragic thought to the phoebes’ singing.

    Cheers, Ken Rosen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      September 13, 2020

      Thanks, Kenneth. I’ve been reading your poems lately. Skillful and insightful!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    September 11, 2020

    I don’t remember this one. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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