Monday, August 1, 2011

poems and photos

I seem to have difficulty today in uploading photos, but the river bank is becoming overgrown, tons of pond weed has been skimmed off the river and rots gently in the water meadow field. All sizes of fish are at the edge of the mill water. And then some poetry from Edward Thomas and Robert Frost, an interesting article in the Guardian about 'The Road Not Taken'...
which probably tells us not to take words or ourselves too seriously, poor Thomas took the poem to heart and went off to war to be killed in a few weeks, or perhaps there was another story there...
Off to Whitby tomorrow on a long train journey..
Frost's poem is a favourite of mine, I'm sure he wrote another 'cottage' one too.

The pretty but unwelcome policeman's helmet


An acre of land between the shore and the hills,
Upon a ledge that shows my kingdoms three,
The lovely visible earth and sky and sea
Where what the curlew needs not, the farmer tills:

A house that shall love me as I love it,
Well-hedged, and honoured by a few ash trees
That linnets, greenfinches, and goldfinches
Shall often visit and make love in and flit:

A garden I need never go beyond,
Broken but neat, whose sunflowers every one
Are fit to be the sign of the Rising Sun:
A spring, a brook's bend, or at least a pond:

For these I ask not, but, neither too late
Nor yet too early, for what men call content,
And also that something may be sent
To be contented with, I ask of Fate.

Edward Thomas

hundreds of little fish

The Chelmer

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping hear
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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

Robert Frost


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. I enjoyed reading about the two poets and reading your selection too. I'm off to Whitby on the 13th. Have a great time.

  2. Thelma; Thank you for the thoughtful post and especially for the link to the article re Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.
    Although Frost lived in New Hampshire and in England before settling in Ripton, Vermont, we Vermonters born and raised, tend to sieze upon him as "our" poet.
    We read [in grade school] the seemingly simple of his poems: 'The Pasture;' 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening;' Grasping the immediate imagery was simple--when I read that 'two roads diverged in a yellow wood' I saw the great stand of beeches of my grandfather's woods--yellow in autumn.
    I suppose that a college course would focus on poets of a specific era, putting them in context of their contemporaries and the political climate of their times.
    In reading the Guardian article one thing which strikes me is Frost's insistence on the 'cadence'of poetry as a spoken and audible form--I suspect one reason I've not read more poetry is the rather stilted and tortured style into which thoughts can be forced.
    I've sent on the Guardian link to a friend who is both artist and poet. The beauty of blogging is in sharing fascinating information to which we wouldn't otherwise have access.

  3. Jarmara; Will be coming back before the 11th as the family are coming down to London to catch the Eurotunnel train, but hope you have a good time too.

    Morning Minion; Robert Frost's poem I've loved since childhood, I suppose for its simplicity, but of course poetry is not simple. A favourite of mine as far as Edward Thomas is concerned is 'Lob' a very evocative and long description of rural Wiltshire. Glad the link was useful, it looks like quite a few people of note lived in Vermont ;)

  4. Thank you so much for the link to the article, which I have just read with great pleasure, and am now printing it off for enjoyment in the future! That gamekeeper had my dander up though!

    I am amassing quite a collection of books by and about Edward Thomas now and love the fact that he had local links.

    I agree with the cadence of Frosts' and Thomas's poetry being as important as the language.