Personal anthology: Robert Frost

The job search has all but eaten my brain, and it’s been a while since I posted a poem for the virtual commonplace-book. So here’s a poem while I obsess about interviews and other unbloggable topics:

Spring Pools

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods—
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.

Robert Frost

This poem has been on my mind because at the ’06 MLA Convention, I heard Jonathan Culler talk about it, about the oddity of the blustering "let them think twice…" formulation, about the just-there allusion to François Villon ("ou sont les neiges d’antan?") in the last line, and how the lyric isn’t always constructed along the lines of a dramatic monologue with a speaker and a situation. A week or so ago I picked up the January issue of PMLA, which has a revised version of this talk, and "Spring Pools" has been rattling around my head ever since.

One Response to “Personal anthology: Robert Frost”

  1. dale says:

    Thank you! It’s an intriguing poem.