Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stopping by the Woods

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Morning
Weldon Spring, Missouri

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

 by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow...

Let me acknowledge here and now that I revere poets and poetry. 

My father used to read and recite poetry regularly to his six offspring, and his passion for it was obvious. It spilled from him like a fountain when he spoke, and it soaked into the pores of my soul.. He called poetry the "distillation of language into its purest form."  I love that definition.

I also love the fact that men and women through the ages, from Rumi to Dickenson to Ginsberg, have sought to distill language into its purest form. They continue today, those poets, trying and sometimes succeeding in distilling our thoughts, our dreams, our observations, and our love into its purest form. I am in awe of poets.

(I have a favortite poet in Blogland if you're interested. I know him only as Steven, and I know that he lives in Ontario, Canada. As many of the most esteemed poets have been, he seems an introspective person, a lover of nature, and a person with a keen sense of observation. He can see the significance in the most insignificant things. You can catch the refreshing rivulets of his poetry here; But I digress...)

We are blessed with poets great and small from the Ancients to the Contemporaries if we have the ears to hear and eyes to read. And Robert Frost? Well, he's an icon of American poetry, isn't he? So who am I to judge? Well, no one. But I came away from my window this morning with the distinct impression that he had it wrong in his description of his ride through the woods on a snowy evening.

As I looked out my back window this snowy morning, I saw this deer. He's a fine young buck, a yearling, I suppose, and he was beautiful as he quietly but surely made his way through the drifts. He was in the company of a girlfriend, I think, who gingerly followed him into the woods. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the profile of her face behind the tree right next to her beau.

As I observed the pair, I had the feeling that I was intruding. They were at home here, meandering along the trees and underbrush, walking toward the pond downhill, much as I would meander into the kitchen to make the coffee early each morning.

I thought, too, as Frost expressed, that they would not see me here. I stood "to watch their woods fill up with snow..."

"Whose woods these are I think I know."

They are not ours.

Peace to you today.

In honor of the beautiful duo I spied upon this morning, I'm posting this from another incredibly beautiful duo. Here are two of the most eminent violinists in the world, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, playing George Frideric Handel's "Passacaglia". This duet is sometimes called "The Impossible Duet" because of its difficulty. Enjoy.


  1. Another incredible, beautiful soulful post! And the music~ brilliant.....

  2. I love your blog today Jo........ it's so wonderful! Steven is an amazing poet. I hope he will publish his works one day. His poems are so peaceful. I love Robert Frost too and this poem, "Stopping by the Woods..." is a favourite of mine. You are correct in the end, the woods do not belong to us.

    I am downloading the You Tube video you posted, it's brilliant. I think it is better to see the performance in this case rather than just listening to it. There is so much in the camaraderie of these two musicians that adds to the music.

    My 10 year old granddaughter has been studying Suzuki violin since she was 4. She loves the violin and I think she would really enjoy watching this. Thank you for sharing your smiling heart.=D

  3. Thank you, Vicki. I hope both of us have a more peaceful day today, although I hear that three of your grandbabies have a fever. Tsk. Enjoy what you can of the day then, my friend.

  4. Thank you for your very kind words, Linda.

    I feel sure that we'll read Steven's poetry on creamy pages one day. I look forward to it.

    I always try to find live performances of my music posts for the very reason you just expressed. The magic is not just in the music, but in the way the performer inhabits his/her work.

    Yes, your granddaughter should see the way these two great artists are both in their own world, and acknowledging one another in their creation.

    How wonderful that she's studying music!

  5. sometimes the darndest things trickle up don't they? it seems that the best we ever have is that which we come upon by accident. i could have visited your neck of the woods and stayed and remained unseen, but the snow is melting and i wanted you to know i stopped by. always very relaxing here. we're so lucky for the view you provide.

  6. Thanks very much for visiting 'my' neck of the woods, Dubby, and for the (as always) kind words of support. I'm so grateful for them.

  7. Jo, I'm so glad that you stopped by today and left a comment. You might have already connected with her, but you might enjoy Pamela's blog at

  8. Thanks so much, Jojo. I hadn't yet discovered her beautiful blog.

  9. One of my teachers used to say that poetry at this time of the year is crucial, since it is the art form that "cracks the ice in the heart of the earth," reminding her of spring. I always loved that idea.

    You know I'm a big fan of poetry in general and Steven in particular. Tess of Willow Manor is also an incredible poet. Wow.

    Cool to see you connecting with blog kin. Excellent!

  10. Two things I forgot to say - that deer is BEAUTIFUL!! Also, are you a poet? I am in awe of anyone who can actually write poetry.

  11. Thanks so much for your visit and sweet comment. And please don't worry about Edward's situation when we travel. He has a devoted pet sitter who moves in here and keeps his routine as close to normal as possible. And no, he's not the least spoiled! Of course, I do think you're right... he would always prefer I stay close to home. Or better yet, take him along!

  12. Hello, Reya. I SO agree with your teacher...poetry this time of year IS crucial. Cracking the ice in the heart of the earth? YES.

    I'm a closet poet, Reya. As I've read so much of it, I know how very awful I am at it. That doesn't stop me from playing at it, though!

    I share your awe.

  13. Great to hear from you Pamela.

    Edward is BEAUTIFUL, which I'm certain you hear all the time. I'm so glad to hear he may be spoiled, as he deserves to be.

    My daughter owns a maltese who travels with her everywhere. SO civilized.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  14. hey jo thanks for the kind words. i'm grateful for the opportunity to share what i'm learning and grateful to have wise people like yourself drop by to help me learn more. steven

  15. You flatter me, Steven. Thanks for stopping by to visit, and, through your poetry, for enabling us to see with our whole beings.


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.