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Fire in the frozen sky

August 18, 2011

Ok, I’m going to make an admission that will probably make me sound shallow.  But here goes:

Hi, my name is Sparky and I don’t really like poetry.

(“Hi, Sparky!”)

I know, I know.  You’d think that someone who enjoys the arts as much as I do would love the stuff.  But not really.  Especially if it rhymes.  When I was in college I thought that maybe I just needed a class to understand it better.  It was a miserable semester.

That said, I don’t dislike all poetry.  In fact, there are a goodly number of Robert Frost poems that I absolutely love.  Off and on today bits of one came to mind and I finally gave up and looked it up so I could read the entire thing.  It’s good.  So good that I’m going to share it here.  Now, don’t go running off.  This is a painless way to get some culture, and less calories than frozen yogurt.  Humor me and read the poem, for pete’s sake.

Choose Something Like A Star

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud —
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says “I burn.”
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

-Robert Frost, 1947

Why do I love this poem so much?  Maybe because I understand all too well what it’s like to be the subject of demands to justify or explain oneself, when in fact the explanations should be self-evident to anyone who really sees.  But few people want to see, let alone think.  They prefer easy answers, and heaven forbid the answers, if there are any, aren’t easy.

Or maybe I just like that the only thing a star has to say is “I burn”.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 12:32 pm

    Did you say Painless? lol…I’m with you, I don’t care much for poetry…especially the kind that has all this hidden meaning that…let’s just be honest…ONLY the author knows what the frip he/she’s talking about :P

  2. Joann permalink
    August 21, 2011 6:30 pm

    I don’t like poetry, but I do like Robert Frost. In fact I think he’s my favorite of all the poetry I was forced to read and study in school. I used to write poetry, but alas the desire left me for more meaningful writing. :)

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