It is only fitting that it should snow now. Yesterday marked 90 years since the publication of Robert Frost’s book “New Hampshire”, which included the famous “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening“.
Frost was the first poet I came to on my own.
Until visiting one of his former homes in south Vermont I assumed “Stopping by Woods…” was about death an aging.
Like many poets, Frost wasn’t keen on discussing the meaning of his poems.
If I wanted you to know I’d had told you in the poem.
I forgot to wear my snow boots for this walk. My feet were wet before I reached the park. Only a handful of people were out – two cross country skiers, a couple playing with their dog and a walking marshmallow coat with a dark umbrella – so it felt like I had the park all to myself. This is a rare sensation to have in New York City. I couldn’t not keep going and going.
I opted for the scenic route back and lingered on the last stanza. It doesn’t sound so melancholy when you take the poet at his word. He first wrote them by hand ninety-one years ago, which seems like no time at all on a day like today.
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.