Posts tagged Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

I guess I’m on a poetry kick, can’t explain why except one can get philosophical about one’s existence with snow all around and shorter days that are thankfully lengthening.  When I was taking classes at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis I took a class on poetry. I discovered that I prefer formalist poets like Robert Frost (1874-1963), Robert Louis Stevenson and Emily Dickinson.  I like it when a poem rhymes and has a certain meter to follow.  Other enthusiasts prefer the random kind of prose that has less structure.

In this famous poem by Frost, he writes about going the road less traveled which is what Ken and I are doing. That has made all the difference, our living and working in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Mountain Interval.  1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
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; 5
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, 10
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. 15
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. 20

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Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem about the Wind (in Astana)

Yesterday I should have googled the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson to make sure I got it right.  Turns out the poem I featured yesterday was only the last of three stanzas. However, what I wrote applies specifically to Astana winds.  The first stanza  is rather dated about women’s skirts rustling, but it still makes for a good read when you consider that in about 4-5 months people will be putting their kites into the wind.  That reminds me that we should watch the movie “Kite Runner” again.  Ken and I watched “Letters to Juliet” last night with not even getting close to midnight. We kissed each other goodnight around 10 p.m. and lights out. The new year of 2011 turned up happy with more snow and WIND!!!

The following is the complete Stevenson poem which he wrote for a children’s poetry book. He must have lived in Astana or in northwestern Minnesota (how else would he know to write something so descriptive?)  Titled simply “The Wind.”

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
     O wind, a-blowing all day long,
     O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
     O wind, a-blowing all day long,
     O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
     O wind, a-blowing all day long,
     O wind, that sings so loud a song!

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Stevenson’s Poem about Astana WIND!!!

“Happy New Year” for those of you staying up to midnight and beyond. Not sure that will be my goal but I hope to have some resolutions firmly in place and activated by the time January 1, 2011 rolls around.  My thoughts drift to other Eves that I have celebrated with friends and family and what I have done in the past to greet each new year.  I can’t think of anything specific, they all kind of blend into the woodwork because I am usually in a cold place trying to stay warm.  WIND!!!

The following short poem is appropriate for either Astana, Kazakhstan or northwestern MInnesota, how the wind doth blow!!! Hat tip to my 10 year old nephew who wrote it out in his beautiful longhand and was scanned by my Mom. WIND!!!  That’s why I’ll be curled up with a good book to read and plans of having a spicy hot, spaghetti meal with my husband later.  That will be the extent of our celebration, watching yet another DVD movie during this time of “stay-cation.” Not sure we will make it up to midnight but meanwhile, the wind continues to blow…

“Wind” by Robert Louis Stevenson

O you that race so strong and cold,

O blower, are you young or old?

Are you a beast of field and tree?

Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind that sings so loud a song.

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