Two Roads Diverged

Moving along in this series on poets from my life, we come alphabetically to the four I will highlight in this post.  To see the entire list, you may go to Sundae with Nuts.  Soon, I will be creating a new page for Cor Novus devoted to links to all the articles in this series.

The four reviewed here are;

  • Robert Frost,
  • Allen Ginsberg,
  • Robert Herrick, and
  • Joyce Kilmer

Robert Frost

I really like Frost a lot.  He became widely known in the early 20th century and recited a work at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.  He was an American poet as American can be.  He wrote with a voice that was easily understood and conversational in tone.  The title of this article and this excerpt belong to frost.  It is perhaps one, if not THE best known of his works.

The Road Not Taken

And both that morning equally layRobert Frost
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
goldStar

 

The whole poem, only about twice as long as this excerpt begs reading.  Follow the link and you will see it.  But there is another poem of Robert’s that I want to include here and I still have three other poets to do.  The second of which, Allen Ginsberg, is another favorite of mine.  Here’s one more from Frost.  This one is reprinted in its entirety.

goldStar
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.snowy_evening_by_twelvepaws-d4cy1wh
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg is described by poets.org as

As the leading icon of the Beats [Beat Generation], Ginsberg was involved in countless political activities, including protests against the Vietnam War, and he spoke openly about issues that concerned him, such as free speech and gay rights agendas.

He was a poet of MY generation.  He carried freedom of speech and freedom of thought to a new level.  His premier work Howl was banned in 1956 for obscenity.  After numerous court trials the charges of obscenity were defeated but not before it became an icon in and of itself, bolstered by the publicity of the ban.

It is a long poem, but worth the read.  It reads with an intensity and rawness seldom seen.

HOWL

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,allen-ginsberg-200x299

starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking

for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly

connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking

in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating

across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw

Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs

illuminated,

Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick was, like John Donne, another English churchman from the 15th-14th centuries.  Most of Herrick’s works were originally published under Church title and authority.  He is best known for

To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,

Botticelli.  Three Graces
Botticelli. Three Graces

Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.

Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer was an American poet and journalist.  He served in the U.S. Army and was killed in World War I.  His poetry celebrated the beauty of nature and is perhaps best expressed in the iconic

Trees

I think that I shall never see2542215e28693e5d1170403b83bd560f_large
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
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.

 

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7 thoughts on “Two Roads Diverged

    1. AHA! There you are! I thought I saw you lurking in my sidebar . . .

      ahhhhhhhh, the differences between Exclamations, Superlatives and the simple and often overestimated Adjective! Yes, I concur, Frost is positively and absolutely great but not always positive in tone or theme. That is why I included the title work, “The Road Not Taken.” — a positively superb piece with a positive message, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe I come out at weekend 😀 When I saw “The Road Not Taken” was included I was like ‘oh yes, oh yes!’ as it’s one of his most popular ones. I wrote about “Out, Out-” a little while ago at my blog – note, it’s a dark one. He wrote so many, hard to choose which is the best one!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. well it turns out I was wrong. 😦 turns out it was Macbeth not Othello. I had doubts so I looked t up . . .*deeply chagrined*

              Thanks for the link. cool. I’ll look it up.

              Like

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