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A Dream Pang -- Robert Frost

Guest poem sent in by Kevin Litzinger
(Poem #1276) A Dream Pang
 I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
 Was swallowed up in leaves that blew away;
 And to the forest edge you came one day
 (this was my dream) and looked and pondered long,
 But did not enter, though the wish was strong:
 You shook your pensive head as who should say,
 "I dare not--too far in his footsteps stray--
 He must seek me would he undo the wrong."

 Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all,
 Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;
 And the sweet pang it cost me not to call
 and tell you that I saw does still abide.
 But 'tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,
 For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.
-- Robert Frost
I've been wanting to submit this poem for quite some time, because it means
so much to me, and then a few days ago I saw a Robert Frost poem and was
upset because I wanted to submit a Frost poem. Well, I decided to submit
anyway. This poem is very poignant to me in so many ways: like the last
Frost poem [Poem #1272], he uses nature as a metaphor for life, or, as I
believe in this poem, his dream life or daydreams. But this poem displays
more of the dream of love.

It has a man, pining for a woman, guiltily:
"He must seek me would he undo the wrong."

It shows the fear I think almost all men have of women, and this may be the
same vice versa, but Ive never been a woman. But I think we are generally
afraid of women, and we simply overcome it, and that's what his final line
is meant to me.

"For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof"

The dream of the love of a woman that we fear, yet desire as well, is
fulfilled, and the woman is there to prove it.

--Kevin Litzinger

31 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Nikhil Sethi said...

To me it seems that the dream is NOT fulfilled in the end. Because the
woman comes but he does not call out to her, and she does not go to him.

Alkemygirl said...

Maybe she does not go to him yet, because she is waiting--
for him!

"He must seek me, would he undo the wrong"

She too is afraid. Very much so.
Nevertheless, she waits--
for him.
So the dream is not over.

Shailja Sharma said...

To me this dream is fulfilled
because even though , she does not come to him and he does not call her ...they both FELT each other , felt their presence ...and in love , that is the most important thing be able to feel...

Litz9669 said...

But the Dream must then be fulfilled based on the last line.

"For the wood wakes," The dream is over.

"and you are here for proof." She is there to prove that the dream of her
once being separate from him is gone. She is [here] for proof.

Anonymous said...


To me this poem is about both subconscious and conscious desires meeting, living a dream that you know can't ever become true as you both (man and woman) know that it should not be lived.

"He must seek me, would he undo the wrong"

Neither of them dares to come to or call eachother yet they so painfully wish to be near eachother. They sense eachother's presence.

'The wood wakes' to me is not the wood being awake so much as the wood guarding their seperation but also a silent witness to their longing, guarding them both.

'I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
Was swallowed up in leaves that blew away'

The luscious leaves soaked up his song of longing of not being in isolation, for her to join him and the wood and she herself (a paradox as she lives in the dream) are proof of his feelings.

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What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

JM said...

This seems like a man in love with a woman who is taken or unavailable. They both are attracted to each other or maybe even in love but they know they can't act on their feelings.

He thought it was only him who had the feelings "I had withdrawn in the forest" but then something happened where the woman showed she felt the same way "and to the forest edge you came one day" - but her hesitance to join him shows she did not want to "stray" from her relationship/morals. "I dare not--too far in his footsteps stray"

They both want to be together but neither of them want to cross the line literal and metaphorical. "He must seek me" - each have a longing for the other to make a move.

They both hold back from one another - painfully. And in the end while he still aches for her, he is content knowing that she felt for him the way he did her "and you are here for proof."

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