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In Love With Robert Frost! 
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Post Re: In Love With Robert Frost!
giselle wrote:
There are some amusing comments here about the coolness of poets, in particular Robert Frost and, well, Glen Campbell. Back in the day when I cared about cool I would not have admitted to knowing anything about either, although I used to hum along to Rhinestone Cowboy when nobody was about. This is the only Glen Campbell song I remember. If anyone had asked me about Robert Frost I would have pretended he meant Robert Plant and then switched the conversation to how many times I'd skipped English class, contributing, of course, to my lack of appreciation for Frost. Now I can read and enjoy Frost without the slightest concern for cool and I still like Robert Plant ... and Glen Campbell ,, well ..

I have no problem with any of that, but would just suggest that you upgrade to humming "Wichita Lineman." :) Glen Campbell came out with a new cd about a year ago. I heard some of it on the radio, and Glen didn't sound half bad.



Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:19 am
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Post Re: In Love With Robert Frost!
Thanks DWill, it will be refreshing to have a new Glen Campbell song to hum.

Here is an extract from Robert Frost "Birches" that I like. Such a stong sense of humanity, timeless boyhood and self-sufficiency.

Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.

The last line parallels the closing line of the poem which is:
"One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

Indeed, perhaps we could all benefit from swinging on a birch tree once in a while.



Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:09 pm
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Post Re: In Love With Robert Frost!
Thanks for putting the poem up there. I like the second stanza of that poem even more than the first, so I'll complete it.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches;
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood 45
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over. 50
May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, 55
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 60

One of my favorite parts of any poem: "Earth's the right place for love:/I don't know where it's likely to go better."



Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:28 pm
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Post Re: In Love With Robert Frost!
Frost strikes me deeply in two ways, both related, both melancholy.

The first is I read him a lot between the ages of 12 to 16. During part of that time I lived inside a national park in Montana. The other part was just after we moved to Virginia and I would take long walks in the woods, or what passed for them, around our house. He makes me remember the sun, the woods, the smell of leaves.

The second part is he reminds me of what could have been. Of directions I wanted to go but ended so far away from.

The poem below reminds me of Virginia. We moved here and I would see woods and walk towards them. Then I would find more houses underneath them. Quite a shock for a kid who came from a town of about 160 people. I spent a large part of my early life wanting to run away into the woods and never come back. Then I believed it might be possible to find magic and elves. Sometimes I still do now.

Into My Own
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 some 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 the knew--
Only more sure of all I though was true.


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Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:16 pm
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