Thursday, December 20, 2007

To Stay Our Minds On And Be Staid

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


  1. Robert Frost! My third favorite poet of all time!

    Thank you for sharing.


  2. Oh, and Andrew. My new e-mail address, the one I gave you yesterday, is going through some technical difficulties at present. I hope to have it up and running soon.


  3. J.R.:

    So, Emily Dickinson is number one and Robert Frost is number three. Who, then, is number two?

    No problem about the email difficulties. I have been too busy today to send any emails.


  4. The creator of "Leaves Of Grass", Walt Whitman.

  5. J.R., this Robert Frost poem is one of my mother's favorites. It was written only a year before she was born.

    The poem is also one of my own personal favorites.

    I posted it as my way of offering seasons greeting to any readers, including, most especially, my mother, as well as you, a great lover of poetry.

    The poem offers many, many meanings, and has much to say that is appropriate to this time of year (as well as any time of year, I guess).

    I think it is exceedingly beautiful.

    My mother will have it easily-available while I am away, so this is sort of a private gesture as well as a public gesture.


  6. Walt Whitman.

    I should have been able to guess.

    I am ashamed.

  7. It is indeed a beautiful poem.

    Thank you for sharing.

    I know it will be hard for your mother and you to be apart for the first time this Christmas, but at least you will get to spend the New Year's festivities together.

    Tell her to take it easy and that she can take some comfort in the thought that you are only a phone call away.

    My family, we always open the remainder of our presents on New Year's Eve. It has become a tradition for us.


  8. My mother will be fine.

    She will have her grandson to fuss over, and my brothers, too.

    She'll soon forget that I am not there, what with everyone else seizing her attention.

  9. Andrew, Merry Christmas to you and Joshua and your families. Wishing you a safe and spiriting trip to Oklahoma. I'll be in Lincolnshire for the holidays, returning Jan. 1. CC

    (Not an admirer of Frost and not an admirer of that poem)