friday feast: happy birthday, robert frost!

“A poet never takes notes. You never take notes in a love affair.”

“A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”  ~ Robert Lee Frost

Frost in 1910 and 1962 (photo by TedSher).

To celebrate Robert Frost’s 136th birthday today, I’m sharing an early poem I only just discovered recently. Since my knowledge of Frost is somewhat limited to the well known poems usually found in anthologies, it’s always a treat to read something “new.”

“A Line-storm Song” first appeared in New England Magazine (1907) when Frost was 33, and was later included in his first collection of poetry, A Boy’s Will (1913). This is a different Frost from the one I first encountered pondering “The Road Not Taken,” and I like him. It’s lovely to meet this poet as a young man, passionate and romantic. I was reminded of Marlowe’s, “Come live with me and be my love.” I’m all for an entreaty to brave the elements and ride out life’s storms in the name of love.


The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift.
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz-stones lift,
And the hoofprints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain.

The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose.
Come, be my love in the wet woods, come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch, shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when, after doubt,
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.

Frost wrote “A Line-storm Song” while living at this small farm in Derry, New Hampshire:

Dining Room at Frost Farm :

photo by TechSavi.

Living Room with Frost’s lounge chair:

photo by TechSavi.

He spent the summer and fall in this cabin in Ripton, Vermont, from 1939 until his death in 1963:

photo by origamidon.

photo by origamidon.

Right about now, it would be nice to hear Frost’s voice. Here’s a short clip from “Lover’s Quarrel with the World,” which won an Academy Award in 1963 for Best Documentary:

Happy Birthday, dear Mr. Frost!

Apple Tea Cake by teachild.

The always lovely Julie Larios is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record. Enjoy all the wonderful poems being shared today and have a glorious weekend!

“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday, but never remembers her age.” ~ Robert Frost

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.