Season of Frost
It is fall in America. Soon winter will come. Murky clouds will paint the sky grey; snows will fall with languid abundance, the woods will have a white shroud, the water droplets clinging on to the branches and lakes frozen to white sheet. This is the season of Robert Lee Frost the New England poet who celebrated natural beauty with great artistry of words. Even a couplet casts a spell - "The way a crow / Shook down on me / The dust of snow / From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart / A change of mood / And saved some part/ Ofa day I had rued". (Dust of Snow).
Robert Frost's poems' pristine beauty is in the mellifluous resonance he strived atto build a philosophical thought or a theme. The quintessential of all subjects is the eternal question of life and death. It puzzles the mortals - the unlettered and the erudite. Robert Frost undertook the same journey over a natural landscape in his couplet 'The Question'; "A voice said, Look me in the stars /And tell me truly, men of earth, /If all the soul-and-body scars / Were not too much to pay for birth".
The natural splendours of Robert Frost poem and its relevance to the realities of life has the enchantment to settle deep into the heart as the mantra of journey that life is. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is such a poem of everlasting enchantment. "Whose woods these are I think I know./His house is in the village though; / He will not see me stopping here / 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.
The decisions of living are quite a challenge. It is natural for the mind to take the charted path. The will cowers before the unknown and uncertainty; be it of livelihood or a liaison, a cause or conviction. Men and women are made and unmade by their decisions and in looking for the ease in the course. Robert Frost's poetry "The Road Not Taken" uses the landscape to give a fascinating account of the subject. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both / And be one traveler, long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, / And having perhaps the better claim /Because it was grassy and wanted wear, /Though as for that the passing there / Had worn them really about the same', ….
Robert Frost's poems are not all about rhythmic words; some of his poems are endowed with measured arrangement of words, accentual rhythm, syllabic quantity etc. His poem "Acquainted with the Night" is written with 14 lines like a sonnet, and with a rhyme scheme invented by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri.
"I have been one acquainted with the night. / I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. / I have out walked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane. / I have passed by the watchman on his beat / And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet / When far away an interrupted cry / Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye; / And further still at an unearthly height, / One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. / I have been one acquainted with the night.”