A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 210: Saturday Life Quotes – Frost

robert frost

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost (1874-1963). American poet extraordinaire, provides today’s Life Quotes:

“Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.”

“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.”

“The best way out is always through.”

“Nothing can make injustice just but mercy.”

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.”

“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”

“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.”

“I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed.”

“Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me.”

“There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.”

 

 

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 209: Birches

Birch, Mer Bleu 2

Mer Bleu Birches, Ron Kok, 2016, Watercolor Pencils

Birches

By Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 41: The Road Not Taken

road
My mind has been in the woods and on trails lately. Seemed fitting to reprint here perhaps the most famous poem by Robert Frost. Written as a joke for an indecisive friend in 1915, people took it as a serious poem, to which Frost quipped, “I’m never more serious than when joking.”
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
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,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.