Fridays With Frost

Departmental

An ant on the tablecloth
Ran into a dormant moth
Of many times his size.
He showed not the least surprise.
His business wasn’t with such.
He gave it scarcely a touch,
And was off on his duty run.
Yet if he encountered one
Of the hive’s enquiry squad
Whose work is to find out God
And the nature of time and space,
He would put him onto the case.
Ants are a curious race;
One crossing with hurried tread
The body of one of their dead
Isn’t given a moment’s arrest-
Seems not even impressed.
But he no doubt reports to any
With whom he crosses antennae,
And they no doubt report
To the higher-up at court.
Then word goes forth in Formic:
‘Death’s come to Jerry McCormic,
Our selfless forager Jerry.
Will the special Janizary
Whose office it is to bury
The dead of the commissary
Go bring him home to his people.
Lay him in state on a sepal.
Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
This is the word of your Queen.’
And presently on the scene
Appears a solemn mortician;
And taking formal position,
With feelers calmly atwiddle,
Seizes the dead by the middle,
And heaving him high in air,
Carries him out of there.
No one stands round to stare.
It is nobody else’s affair 
It couldn’t be called ungentle
But how thoroughly departmental 

Robert Frost

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7 responses to “Fridays With Frost

  1. Robert Frost is one of my favourite poets but this poem was unknown to me. Thank you for the introduction.

    • It’s not one I had seen before either. I’m glad I could share it. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. so much more to the humble ant that what I knew, Robert certainly gets into a rhythmic pattern with this.

    • I would agree about the rhythmic pattern in this one. It;s almost more like a song. I’d love to see inside Frost’s mind…or maybe not.

  3. I seem to be on a list crazed these days …. so …

    1) Why did I not see this in my notifications?!?!? *kicks wordpress … even if it is free*

    2) This Frost poem read like a diddy almost….the language being simple, almost like child language. I liked it.

    3) Why I cannot read a poem for the sake of reading I do not know. I mean, I like reading and just enjoying … for some reason I think poems all have deeper meanings.

    4) Though seemingly simple … as the poem went on, it seems that Frost, whilst speaking on ants, could very easily be speaking about human culture.

    5) Or perhaps a cigar is just a cigar …

    • Wow! That is quite a list there girl. As for #3 we seek a deeper meaning because we know that it is often there, and if we don’t look we will miss it. Yet it is okay to just enjoy the rhythm. In fact sometimes that is the “deeper meaning.” 🙂