Monday, 24 December 2018

Illustrated Selected Poems by Robert Frost: a most beautiful book gift

This 2017 edition by Sterling (New York) of Robert Frost poetry, with woodcut illustrations by Thomas W. Nason, is one of those rare books you cheerfully keep forever, a pleasure to handle and slowly turn the pages.

A Patch of Old Snow

There's a patch of old snow in a corner
         That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
         Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
         Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I've fogotten
         If I ever read it.

The Telephone

"When I was just as far as I could walk
From here to-day,
There was an hour
All still
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
Don’t say I didn’t, for I heard you say—
You spoke from that flower on the window sill—
Do you remember what it was you said?"

“First tell me what it was you thought you heard.”

“Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
I leaned my head,
And holding by the stalk,
I listened and I thought I caught the word —
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say —
Someone said ‘Come’ — I heard it as I bowed.

“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”

“Well, so I came.”

A Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Happy Christmas and many nice new readings!