December 27, 2007

A world in white gets underway...

I'm sure all of us have experienced something of the kind: certain places and things and situations have to them a peculiar quality which tends to bring out all sorts of random associations, memories. In some cases they may not be so random, but that is another matter altogether.
Perhaps it has something to do with his name or maybe it is the residue of poetry lessons taken oh so long ago, but whenever I go out for a walk through a quiet snowy wood I get random lines -- sometimes even whole stanzas -- of Robert Frost's poetry popping up in my head. Just like an ear-worm at times.

[. . .] The view was all in lines
Straight up and down of tall slim trees
Too much alike to mark or name a place by
So as to say for certain I was here
Or somewhere else: I was just far from home.

(from The Wood-Pile)

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees [. . .]

(from Birches)

[. . .]
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.

(from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)

The following excerpt has very little to do with winter of course; nevertheless it is one I think of often -- a forest, virtually any forest, with its forking paths and blind alleys, trails vanishing or coming to a dead end in a tangle of briers, appearing and disappearing... it is the perfect metaphor, is it not?

[. . .]

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.

[. . .]

(from The Road Not Taken)

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