Robert Frost is known for his rural, descriptive poems of the New England area, specifically the nature around him. What I adore most about his poetry are its ebbing and flowing complexities. Some poems may come off as nothing more than a charming retelling of a sunny day or the smell of fall approaching. However, with a few rereads, you’ll find that Frost writes about nature to gain an introspective look at oneself. My high school graduation quote was a line from Frost’s poem, A Road Not Taken, which has guided me through life and deserves a read if you haven’t already.
This has been quite a tame winter in New England, but we are still aching for spring. I am lucky to live among the rural landscapes of Robert Frost’s poetry so I look to his poems of every day for comfort.
Here are a few Robert Frost poems to get in the spring spirit!
The Tuft of Flowers
I went to turn the grass once after one Who mowed it in the dew before the sun. The dew was gone that made his blade so keen Before I came to view the levelled scene. I looked for him behind an isle of trees; I listened for his whetstone on the breeze. But he had gone his way, the grass all mown, And I must be, as he had been,—alone, ‘As all must be,’ I said within my heart, ‘Whether they work together or apart.’ But as I said it, swift there passed me by On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly, Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight. And once I marked his flight go round and round, As where some flower lay withering on the ground. And then he flew as far as eye could see, And then on tremulous wing came back to me. I thought of questions that have no reply, And would have turned to toss the grass to dry; But he turned first, and led my eye to look At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook, A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared. I left my place to know them by their name, Finding them butterfly weed when I came. The mower in the dew had loved them thus, By leaving them to flourish, not for us, Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him. But from sheer morning gladness at the brim. The butterfly and I had lit upon, Nevertheless, a message from the dawn, That made me hear the wakening birds around, And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground, And feel a spirit kindred to my own; So that henceforth I worked no more alone; But glad with him, I worked as with his aid, And weary, sought at noon with him the shade; And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach. ‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart, ‘Whether they work together or apart.’
Putting in the Seed
You come to fetch me from my work to-night When supper's on the table, and we'll see If I can leave off burying the white Soft petals fallen from the apple tree. (Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite, Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;) And go along with you ere you lose sight Of what you came for and become like me, Slave to a springtime passion for the earth. How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed On through the watching for that early birth When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed, The sturdy seedling with arched body comes Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.
An Excerpt from “Two Tramps in Mud Time“
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun is out and the wind is still, You’re one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
A Prayer in Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. And make us happy in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mid air stands still. For this is love and nothing else is love, The which it is reserved for God above To sanctify to what far ends He will, But which it only needs that we fulfill.
Spring brings the birth of possibility and new life. I hope that the words of Robert Frost have brought the delights of spring to the forefront of your mind.
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