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My November Guest -- Robert Frost

Guest poem submitted by Deepak Srinivasan :
(Poem #1552) My November Guest
 My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
 Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
 Are beautiful as days can be;
 She loves the bare, the withered tree;
 She walks the sodden pasture lane.

 Her pleasure will not let me stay.
 She talks and I am fain to list:
 She's glad the birds are gone away,
 She's glad her simple worsted gray
 Is silver now with clinging mist.

 The desolate, deserted trees,
 The faded earth, the heavy sky,
 The beauties she so wryly sees,
 She thinks I have no eye for these,
 And vexes me for reason why.

 Not yesterday I learned to know
 The love of bare November days
 Before the coming of the snow,
 But it were vain to tell he so,
 And they are better for her praise.
-- Robert Frost
I chanced to see this poem written on the whiteboard in front of our public
library. It appeals to me for multiple reasons. I think it is possible for
one to slowly or reflectively appreciate certain things through the eyes of
someone else. I guess the very same piece of information can be viewed
differently when expressed in different ways. And the other reason is that
after having lived here in the East for close to 15 years, I have come to
appreciate November in much the same way as the poet does. The starkness and
grey of the evening calm the mind. One is not assaulted with bright summer
heat, or vivid fall colors and forced to drink in the beauty of nature in
huge breathless gulps. And so I guess I also now see the beauty of November,
a month that I used to dread not so long ago. This now adds to the
considerable list of Frost poems already on Minstrels where his body of work
on nature and the seasons is quite extensive.

Deepak.

[Minstrels Links]

Seasons and Weather:
Poem #251, No!  -- Thomas Hood
Poem #648, The January Man -- Dave Goulder
Poem #693, Strugnell's Haiku -- Wendy Cope
Poem #649, A Song of the Weather -- Michael Flanders

Robert Frost:
Poem #51, The Road Not Taken
Poem #155, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Poem #170, The Need of Being Versed in Country Things
Poem #336, A Patch of Old Snow
Poem #681, The Secret Sits
Poem #730, Mending Wall
Poem #779, Fire and Ice
Poem #917, A Considerable Speck
Poem #985, Once by the Pacific
Poem #994, The Gift Outright
Poem #1012, Nothing Gold can Stay
Poem #1036, Range Finding
Poem #1272, Birches
Poem #1276, A Dream Pang
Poem #1284, A Hillside Thaw
Poem #1324, The Telephone
Poem #1373, Acceptance
Poem #1472, In a Disused Graveyard
Poem #1535, The Line-Gang

39 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Leslie Turek said...

I loved this poem when I was in high school and
pretty much had it memorized then. (I am 58 now)
So it was great to see it again.

But I think you might have a typo - I knew it with the
line:
"The beauties she so _truly_ sees," rather than "wryly sees".
I've looked at a couple of web sites and they seem to
agree.

Also in the last line:
"And they are better for _her_ praise."

Leslie Turek

Aseem said...

One of my favourite Frost poems.

Shouldn't line 13 read "The beauties she so truly sees" rather than
wryly sees?

a) That's the way I remember the line
b) It's the version that a quick google search seems to support
c) It sounds much nicer - the t sound of the truly re-inforcing the t
of beauties.
d) It also makes more sense - it's more fitting to the overall elegaic
tone of the poem, plus (at least in my mind) the November guest is a
compelling, passionate presence (albeit a sad one) - not the sort of
person who says things wryly.

Aseem

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