(Picture put together on Gimp)
While my son and I were walking in the woods at dusk, this poem kept going through my mind, at least the parts that I remembered memorizing from long time ago in school. When we made it home I had to look this poem up and refresh my memory as to who did write it and the actual verses.
I love walking in the woods normally, but it was getting dark and we were in an unfamiliar area and finding an animal skeleton scattered around. We pretty much decided that it was probably a dog or close to that shape. We had found a wild pigs skull on another walk with tusks still intact. I admit that I was getting nervous to get out of the woods because our part of Texas has become known to have large numbers of wild pigs which have a reputation for their bad temperament. I have seen about six walking across the road early one morning and would not care to be around them without a weapon.
As far as good things go, I found a good place to pick wild blackberries and sumac berries for sumac lemonade! A little out of the way, (back in the woods), but during the day would be ok!
Frost wrote the poem in June 1922 at his house in Shaftsbury, Vermont. He had been up the entire night writing the long poem “New Hampshire” and had finally finished when he realized morning had come. He went out to view the sunrise and suddenly got the idea for “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. He wrote the new poem “about the snowy evening and the little horse as if I’d had a hallucination” in just “a few minutes without strain.”
The poem is written in iambic tetrameter in the Rubaiyat stanza created by Edward Fitzgerald. Each verse (save the last) follows an a-a-b-a rhyming scheme, with the following verse’s a’s rhyming with that verse’s b, which is a chain rhyme (another example is the terza rima used in Dante‘s Inferno.) Overall, the rhyme scheme is AABA-BBCB-CCDC-DDDD.
The text of the poem describes the thoughts of a lone rider, pausing at night in his travel to watch snow falling in the woods. It ends with him reminding himself that, despite the loveliness of the view, “I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.”
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST