Poetry Corner: Robert Frost

My dad and I have been emailing back and forth the last few weeks. He is in graduate school, working on his MFT (after 30 years as a pastor), and we have been sharing our Adventures in Therapy. (His program requires him to be in counseling as he learns to be one…but he’d be the first to admit that degree requirements are not the sole reason for his foray into psychotherapy — just the one reason that was finally reason enough.) I can’t describe how incredibly special it is to share this experience with my dad…there’s nothing like walking with someone who shares so many of the same memories to confirm that you’re not alone (or crazy).

In his email tonight, he sent a poem by Robert Frost…and I just had to share. Enjoy.

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud –
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says “I burn.”
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

-”Choose Something Like a Star” (1947)

3 thoughts on “Poetry Corner: Robert Frost

  1. aly hawkins Post author

    And just in case you’re a Lit. nerd, here’s the Keats poem Frost is referencing:

    Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
    Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
    And watching, with eternal lids apart,
    Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
    The moving waters at their priestlike task
    Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
    Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
    Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
    No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
    Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
    To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
    Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
    Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
    And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

    And now I hang up my English teacher hat and go back to being a surly drunk.

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