Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Somethings you learn at school, you never forget. I am not talking basic arithmetic or science. We all know that 2 times 2 is 4, and the world is not flat etc. I am talking some serious poetry. Poetry for a person who is otherwise not enamored by poetry.

This is one that struck me, the very first day, i read it, and has stayed in my head. I liked the way it was constructed and the story it bared. The last few lines were favorited by many, and has been quoted repeatedly.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
- 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.
What struck me the most was how the verses rhymed. The poem itself was simple to read and understand. While many have associated philosophical theories to these simple lines. I see only something simple, that is also beautiful. Kind of like, a Steve Jobs inspired design.

To talk a few words on the rhyme and structure. The poem uses a interesting rhyming scheme. The last word of the second last line in the four line verse, rhymes with the words of the next verse. So the third line of the first verse, "He will not see me stopping here", rhymes with the lines from the next verse. And "Between the woods and frozen lake", from the second verse will rhyme with lines in the next.

Much before i had seen snow in my life, i visualized it. The rider on the horse, and the winding path leading out of the woods. I saw it all. The words made it so easy to imagine it all.

Simple, Beautiful or simply beautiful. You pick your adjective. 

Sometimes, I wonder though. I had seen a movie, Telefon. A spy thriller, starring Charles Bronson. Would this poem have had the same impact, if i had not seen the movie soon after first reading the poem in my school.

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