An Early Frost

Way back in 4th grade, we were asked to memorize a poem from our English book and recite it in front of the class. Being nine-years old and horse-mad, I chose Robert Frost’s “Stopping through the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” chiefly because he acknowledged his “little horse” and its thoughts about the change in journey.

Yeah, I know. Prepubescent girl-child logic.

The picture in my English book next to the poem looked a lot like this, which I thought was really cool and eerie and bewitching and added to my fascination.

The picture in my English book next to the poem looked a lot like this, which I thought was really cool and eerie and bewitching and added to my fascination.

In high school, a slightly older and wiser me stumbled upon Robert Frost’s poetry again and once more fell in love; this time not for visuals of patient ponies but for the lean and lovely lyricism of his words.

During one of those long, wonderfully ramble-y conversations I had with my husband when we first met, we talked about poetry and I remember rather shyly quoting my favorite of all Frost’s poems, “Fire and Ice.”

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A few months later, on my birthday, he surprised me with an original copy of the 1920 Christmas Edition Harper’s Magazine in which “Fire and Ice” was first published, in a shadow box frame he made himself.

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I remember being so blown away by the sweetness and thoughtfulness of the gesture. It brought to my mind the last lines of another of my favorite poems by Frost, “The Rose Family.”

The dear only knows
what will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

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9 thoughts on “An Early Frost

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