robert frost | november and linda pastan | rereading frost

28 10 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No. 117 | November 2, 2006

When it turns November here in northern Door, cold winds and fallen leaves, I turn to Robert Frost, an old friend, always in a rural state of mind. He almost never lets me down. I open his COMPLETE POEMS like a bible late at night, letting whatever poems appear upon the page, call me in, comfort me with language and feeling, always finding more than meets the eye. A Frostian warmth, if you will, to last all through the coming winter into spring, which needs no poetry. Norbert Blei

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November by Robert Frost

We saw leaves go to glory,
Then almost migratory
Go part way down the lane,
And then to end the story
Get beaten down and pasted
In one wild day of rain.
We heard ‘ ‘Tis over’ roaring.
A year of leaves was wasted.
Oh, we make a boast of storing,
Of saving and of keeping,
But only by ignoring
The waste of moments sleeping,
The waste of pleasure weeping,
By denying and ignoring
The waste of nations warring.

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Rereading Frost by Linda Pastan

Sometimes I think all the best poems
have been written already,
and no one has time to read them,
so why try to write more?

At other times though,
I remember how one flower
in a meadow already full of flowers
somehow adds to the general fireworks effect

as you get to the top of a hill
in Colorado, say, in high summer
and just look down at all that brimming color.
I also try to convince myself

that the smallest note of the smallest
instrument in the band,
the triangle for instance,
is important to the conductor

who stands there, pointing his finger
in the direction of the percussions,
demanding that one silvery ping.
And I decide not to stop trying,

at least not for a while, though in truth
I’d rather just sit here reading
how someone else has been acquainted
with the night already, and perfectly.

from Queen of a Rainy Country. © W.W. Norton & Company








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