Thursday, December 6, 2007

Incoming...

So it might snow today...

As I type this, the view from my window is gray and dreary, and fairly still, but for the occasional flutter of a still-clinging leaf. Every 30 seconds or so, the stillness is broken completely by a vehicle whizzing past, on the way to who knows where. I keep looking closely for hints of a snowflake, but as of yet they are eluding me. Wait - I think I see one! Yes... there they are...

I like the big snowflakes the best. The ones that stick to your coat and linger, even as the car starts to warm. Flurries are nice, too, because you have to pay closer attention to them if you want to be a part of their show. They are like a quiet sigh. Big snowflakes are more like a stage whisper - giving the impression of a secret, but wanting everyone to pay attention to them.

The thing about poetry is that it takes many forms, just like a snowfall. Poetry can turn on a light bulb in your head where you go, "That is exactly what I wanted to say!" It can introduce you to a different time or place or life. It can grab a hold of you and make you aware of the here and now, just as it can return you to a memory from long ago... one that may or may not be your own.

The poem that follows (one of my all-time favorites) is one that might do any of the above for you, and that is what is so beautiful about poetry. My experience with a poem is not, can not and should not be the same as yours. Even the most famous and popular of poems speak to each reader differently. In many cases, the poem may even say something different to you each time you read it. I love the feeling I get from this poem, and return to it often, not just when it snows.

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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