Thursday, December 27, 2012

And Miles to go Before I Sleep...

My yard has turned into a winter wonderland. The surrounding fields are covered with a blanket of snow and the mountains are white with icy clouds encircling them. Winter has completely taken over, and I constantly find myself staring out the window thinking of one of my favorite poems: 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. 

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.

This poem has always meant so much to me. The words resonate deep inside my soul and I can swear that I've been in those snowy woods. I can see my breath rising in the coldness, I can feel the urgency from my horse. 

I love the conflict between his attraction to the woods and the pull of responsibly. In the end the traveler must refuse entering the darkness of the woods and continue his journey. I can't help but wonder what is truly in those magnificent woods. 

Robert Frost has a way of crafting poems perfectly, and each sentence seems to be made for each other. I see two versions of this poem. One is simple and literal, the other is as complex and deep as the very woods it speaks of.

So many times I have repeated the lines: But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep. 


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