horse, poem, snow, snowy, stopping by woods, wagon, winter poem
I have had to be away away from the cabin unexpectedly these past few days and so have not been able to post. Having just got in late this evening, and with heavy snow in tonight’s forecast, I thought I would share one of my favorite winter poems. The picture above was taken at the Village on Pigeon Lake just a few weeks before Christmas.
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.
A Journey Through the Woods, and Through Life
The theme of this poem is a journey, and not simply a journey through the woods but perhaps through life itself. There is an expectant tone throughout the poem. The author stops for a brief time to meditate and realizes he needs to continue on his journey through the woods and his journey through life.
Frost’s famous phrase “And miles to go before I sleep” not only refers to the physical distance of the trip but also that he still has a long life ahead of him. Sleep often symbolizes death, and the author seems to suggest that his life journey is far from over. Many authors have used sleep as a symbol or metaphor for death, like William Shakespeare in the often-quoted line from Hamlet, “To sleep, per chance to dream.” “I have promises to keep” indicates that the traveler still has tasks to complete before his death.