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.
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
where the salvias, hard carmine
like no leaf that ever was
edge the bare garden.
The Distance of Winter
When the ground beneath a gingko is gold,
I know cold-faced autumn absolutely cannot be held.
The words of wind brush by, an exchange of heat and cold,
Leaving behind a translucent space.
I begin to know—
Already it is the distance of winter.
There is a fog rising from the haze behind my eyes
In the distant gloom, so near
And coldly pretty,
Despair big with contradiction and expectation
Lingering in the desolation of autumn and the provocation of spring;
There’s a dampness, not last night’s feeling of spring,
But the great gray sea of winter.
That is a billowing poignant refusal,
Just as if amid the endless years
Trying to stop the unstoppable
Seasons that breezily arrive then drift away.
You ask me how to let winter keep its pure identity,
I reply, with a pale face, a twinkling frost on my temples
And a leopard of Hemingway
At Kilimanjaro, pure white ice and snow!
That is another kind of persistence and transparency,
Another type of winter distance,
Silent, and far beyond reach.