Publisher and Publication Date: St. Martin’s Press. 2002.
Audience: Poetry readers.
Rating: Very good.
The poems in the book are from two books: Complete Poems of Robert Frost and In The Clearing.
The introduction is written by Louis Untermeyer.
117 poems are included in the book.
“The Code And Other Stories”
“The Hired Man And Other People”
“Stopping By Woods And Other Places”
“The Runaway And Other Animals”
“Country Things And Other Things”
When I write a review on poetry I feel ill-prepared. Poetry requires a different sort of “eye” to read and review on what’s read.
Back in college when a book or poem was read, the teacher dissected the reading material to the point I’d loose interest. What I mean is the teacher would go on and on about what the material meant. I believe poems are intimate. They are deeply personal both to the author and reader.
One of my favorite poems is “My November Guest.”
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 grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly 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 her so,
And they are better for her praise.
Is Frost talking about November or is he comparing November to something else?
November is the month before the snow. It is before the dormant and cold landscape of winter. Birds have left or most of them. The outside world seems dreary, brown or grey, and fading.
If I look at November as being a stage in life, November compares to the time period of older years. Those years when the end of life is getting closer but not quite there. Not as many “birds” or people come around. Some of them are probably dead, or sick, or old themselves. The outward body does fade. Pleasure can be difficult to find. Grey is the common head covering.
I love this poem. I’m not in the November years, but I can relate. The older I get the more I can relate to many things.