Tag Archives: Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

poetry, family, NH, Lake

What perfect timing for this annual winter post. Yesterday Boston was sunny and in the low 60s and this morning it is snowing. Above is a photo I’ve been using in recent years when I publish this poem. It was taken several years ago at dusk, while the snow was still falling. Sergio and I were walking back to my parent’s house on Lake Winnipesaukee.


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.

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.

The poem was written by Robert Frost one hundred years ago in 1922 while he was living in Vermont. It was published a year later in Frost’s New Hampshire volume, earning the poet the 1924 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

New England foliage
Photo courtesy of my friend, Slobodan Miseljic

Yesterday Sergio and I drove up to Northern Vermont for the day. The camera shots taken by Sergio as we whizzed up Route 89 don’t do the foliage justice, which was particularly beautiful in New Hampshire near Hanover, Lebanon, and Enfield. The bright colors blanketing the valleys, rolling foothills and mountains made the 3.5 hour drive enjoyable and reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.

I’ve been faithfully posting this poem since 2009 each October in part because I love it but also because Frost’s poem is so accessible – even to those who claim they “don’t understand poetry”. Inspired by the fall foliage of New England, Frosts’ words weave a visual that is easy to follow. The underlying meaning of also reminds me to make the most of each day and to try and take nothing for granted – a good message for all of us in these times.

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

This poem, which was first published in the Yale Review in 1923, would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1924. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.