One of my favorite poets of all times is Robert Frost. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might already know that! 😉
Frost wrote so many wonderful poems, my favorite is “The Road Not Taken”.
Most people associate Robert Frost with living in and being from New England only, but what you might not know is that he also spent a bit of time in Ann Arbor Michigan, and loved it!
In 1921 Frost accepted a 5,000 fellowship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He once said to a friend of his “I like Michigan people and I like Michigan”. He stayed in Ann Arbor at the University lecturing, attending receptions and arranging poetry readings with other American poets of the time, and meeting with groups of students.
He used to love to wander the streets of Ann Arbor at night when he couldn’t sleep, which was often because he suffered quite badly from insomnia. On one of those walks he found a Greek Revival House that he thought was “charming”. This house which used to be in Ann Arbor on Pontiac Trail became his residence while here. The house was later moved to preserve it’s history and is now located at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan.
This is the house as it looks today at Greenfield Village:
Frost wrote two poems during his stay in Ann Arbor. The first one is:
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.
“Spring Pools” captures the natural rhythm of seasons in transition with flowing water and reflections as well as the transformation of flowering tree buds to the deep dark green foliage of the summer woods.
This poem was written around the time he had a bout with the flu. He took to writing at that time for three full days. He stayed in this house by a roaring fireplace on the couch and wrote, quite enjoyably to his hearts content!
In a conversation with Edward Latham a number of years later, Frost recalled the circumstances of that writing: “I lived out on Pontiac Trail then. One night I sat alone by my open fireplace and wrote Spring Pools. It was a very pleasant experience, and I remember it clearly, although I don’t remember the writing of many of my other poems.”
In the 1920s Frost became quite a well known figure in Southeast Michigan. He lived in this house from about 1924 through 1926.
I mentioned before, that he wrote two poems while in Ann Arbor. The other poem is called “Acquainted with the Night”, which I won’t insert into this post right now. I might bring that at another time with an image that reflects his words.
Robert Frost did also mention that He felt as though he did some of his best and most creative writing while in Ann Arbor!
Tonight I thought I’d bring you a simple image, a single rose in peach hues, plus a short poem I wrote on roses.
I also found a few quotes related to the rose. You’ll find those below the image.
Life is like a rose with delicate parts,
With time it unfolds allowing growth to our hearts.
A rose is gentle, so fragile at times,
Like loving and life, so many rhymes.
Behold this rose, quite tender yet strong.
So we must be through all our days long.
“They are not long, the days of wine and roses. Out of a misty dream, our path emerges for a while, then closes, within a dream” ~Ernest Dowson~
“But he who dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose” ~Ann Bronte~
“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round” ~Ben Hogan~
A lovely poem about trees by Joyce Kilmer. The poem is titled:
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
— Joyce Kilmer,
To me this is said so beautifully by Joyce Kilmer, and what better to show the beauty of a tree, than a wonderful old Oak tree. One that has lived and seen so many years. Felt the wonder of all four the seasons, the dread of drought, the warmth of the spring sun, the beauty of her fall foliage, and the loss of most of her leaves in winter.
Yet, in the twinkling of an eye. Winter soon starts to fade, the image you see here, beautiful in it’s own right. Will soon be replaced by the tender growth of a new spring season. A season that gives hope and rebirth to all living things!
This tree of many years, lives yet to see another, and hopefully decades, and maybe even hundreds of years more!!