Fridays with Frost #19

An Old Man’s Winter Night

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him — at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; — and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man — one man — can’t keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It’s thus he does it of a winter night. 

Robert Frost

Happy Friday All!!! 🙂


4 responses to “Fridays with Frost #19

  1. Oh ….

    I thought at first this would be a lovely .. heartening poem … but I admit … it fills me with sadness. It feels so … alone.

    I admit … I do not know what Frost is writing about in this particular poem (they are getting harder to … to .. discern lately … ack … I need to study more…though I want to say the alliteration here is heavy … I just cannot figure it out *sighs*)

    It makes me feel … sad.

    • Well, I must admit that I don’t always “get” quite what Frost is saying, but I think you hit it on the head when you say “it feels so alone.” This one definitely has that air of alone, but also it seems like a kind of matter of fact statement of how being alone affects how a person lives.

  2. Sometimes it is very difficult to read what the writer in fact is saying, I am with Katie, I re-read twice, but I have been told that you only have to simply enjoy the words for what they are at times, without looking for there meaning…hope that helps Katiekins 🙂 Lovely piece Kyred.

    • Often I don’t look for a meaning. Frost appeals most to me because of the rhythm in his poetry. It’s always soothing, even though he often writes about death and loss. So I have to agree, sometimes the meaning doesn’t matter, it’s the voice we want to hear.