Saturday, January 14, 2012

But something has to be left to God...

ice amid the rock

I googled: "poetry cold".
Should it surprise me that the first poem I found was by "Frost" himself?
I had not read this one before, but I like it...
By Robert Frost 1874–1963

This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm
All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
(If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
(We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an axe—
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.
My mind pops and crackles with the metaphors this orchard represents for me.
How I can't protect my children
(yes, still children to me, although the 20-year-old might pause...)
from the threats to well-being they face when I am not around.
How we have taken care to choose the right exposure.
How we want to gather those who might harm them and give them fair warning.
And then being brought up short: "But something has to be left to God." !
After all...
In the end...
When it comes right down to it.....................
But my original purpose was to portray the cold as a hostile element, one to be eluded, not one entrusted to protect, preserve, and even prepare.
(The irony of thinking that way after having just posted an ice cream cake, for whom room temperature is the enemy, does not escape me.)
But for me, the cold is, well...cold.
But I know the antidote: warmth
Like Split Pea & Ham Soup
Like a Love Story
Like homemade Corn Muffins
Maybe this meal is a love story.
I know it's a prayer.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

What a wonderful post! I teach English and love Robert Frost, but I hadn't seen that poem before.