On A Tree Fallen Across the Road
(To Hear Us Talk)
The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journey’s end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are
Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an axe.
And yet she knows obstruction is in vain.
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole.
And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.
It’s been a while since I posted for Poetry Thursday. It seems I haven’t had much poetry in me lately, nor have I taken time to read any. That’s always a big mistake – as Robert Frost himself said, “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.”
Most everyone is familiar with Frost’s other “road” poem (The Road Not Taken), which is the one I intended to post today. But I came across this one in the battered paperback collection of Frost’s poetry I had for my college America Poetry class. Unlike most of the other poems on those yellowed pages (yes, its been that long since I was in college!) this one had no scribbled annotations surrounding it, suggesting that I had never read or studied it.
Although this poem doesn’t exactly follow this week’s PT prompt (which is “the street where you live”), this “road poem” speaks to me right now, because I’ve had some some big branches come down in my path recently. It’s good to be reminded that they won’t “bar the passage” to my journey’s end for good – they’re simply forcing me to stop, take stock, and figure out how to proceed “without an axe.” It gives me courage “not to be put off that final goal” I have “hidden within me,” but to collect myself and steer “straight off” after my dreams.
for more poems, go here