I’ve read Robert Frost’s “Desert Places” every day this week. I love the imagery and have been especially moved by the fourth stanza. I co-opted his rhyming scheme for a poem I wrote this week, which was strange because my poems usually don’t rhyme. As I re-read “Desert Places”, I kept finding different alliteration patterns that added to the mood and meaning of his poem, creating a lyrical quality. My poetry doesn’t have this sense of details yet, but hopefully by studying some of the greats, I can learn. Even if you don’t read my poem, read and re-read “Desert Places”, you’ll be moved.
By: Robert Frost,
Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.
The woods around it have it – it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.
And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less –
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
WIth no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars – on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
Tallgrass bending and bowing in the breeze
And by the absence of the trees
I know this place
Where soon all will succumb to freeze.
Oh, if these prairies could recite tales
Of the bold who traversed the trails
Clashes of the old and new
And the lands not ours given in sales.
Here heartbreak, ecstasy, and land are fraternal
Connected from soil to kernel
And though others may pass on by
The roots of this place are eternal.
For so long I was determined to keep away
Yet the soil mixed with my blood to make clay
For all the roaming, the tales before me
I know in this place I must stay.