Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poems for September 2 -- Frost

David kindly has offered to lead the discussion of the following poems by Robert Frost:
The Road Not Taken (discussed at Rundel on 9/17)
The Oven Bird
Never Again Would the Birds Song Be the Same
A Winter Eden
Nothing Gold Can Stay

For The Road Not Taken, the book by David Orr of that title gives a thoughtful 184 page discussion on the various interpretations and misinterpretations... commentary on choice and American culture. Taken from the Amazon review:

"It doesn’t accept or reject its myth of choice but sets us up to feel the tensions involved in having to choose, as if each reader were the traveler. His ­decision might have been arbitrary, it might have been meaningful. It might have changed him deeply, it might not have. The options “blur and merge,” Orr writes; they are “like overlapping ghosts.” As he evocatively puts it, “Two potential poems ­revolve around each other, separating and overlapping like clouds in a way that leaves neither reading perfectly visible.”

It’s a good time to look not only at what we choose— but the how of choice, or even the state of not choosing, balancing and holding of paradox.

I have always been troubled by the last sentence-- the rhythm of "all the difference" has an extra limp...
The rhyming is clever -- not the usual jousting of a crossed rhyme, but four stanzas where the initial rhyme repeats both 3rd+ 4th line, to make 5-line stanzas.
It could have been a sonnet... and one wonders about Frost's choices.
In the Rundel discussion, we looked at the repeated pronoun "I"
I could not... I could, // I doubted, if I should
I shall/ and I (vs. the diverging paths)... I took...
a scenario as Jim put it of an "invitational I" in a "what if" scenario about choice.

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