13 December 2009

PS re palm nuts (and Robert Frost)

I am reading a biography of Robert Frost at the moment (Robert Frost: A life, by Jay Parini. William Heinemann, London, 1998. ISBN 043400166X), in which the author reassesses the life and work of "the only truly 'national poet' America has yet produced". It's a big read, at 500 pages, but really splendid and with as much detail about most of the important poems – no fewer than 161 poems reviewed and/or quoted from, sometimes at length, with information about where and when they were written, what the catalyst was (if known) etc. – as about the people.

Opening the book this morning, after writing last night's piece about my troublesome palm nuts, I couldn't help but ponder how in one of RF's notebooks the little annoyance of nature I blogged about would have morphed into a sonnet or some other poetic form, with one of those quietly, sometimes deadly, aphorisms in the last line or two: e.g. "And they, since they / Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."(Out, Out – ); or "I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference"(The Road Not Taken); or "And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep" (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening). Or maybe something as rueful as the closing lines of Reluctance, where, as Parini writes, "frustrated hopes are mirrored in a dying landscape":
     Ah, when to the heart of man
          Was it ever less than treason
     To go with the drift of things,
          To yield with a grace to reason,
     And bow and accept the end
          Of a love or a season?

1 comment:

Doreen said...

Funny- I just saw this post (as I am in a fog most of the time...) and I realized I picked this book about Frost's life at a used book store when I got to LA.
It was great, especially all the old photos of farms and houses he lived in.
I passed it on to John (DiGi) who I thought would love it too.
Talk to you soon- GRANMA!!!!!!

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I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.