Robert Frost- An Insight
Good blocks of beach it was I split
As large around as the chopping blocks
And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinter less as a cloven rock
The blows that a life of self control
Spares to strike for the common good
That day giving a loose to my soul
I spent on the unimportant wood
The hard and consistent efforts in our life backed by self control with common good in mind will always give us good and joyful results. They yield us soul satisfaction. We should not look for material benefits in every thing we do. At times a petty and insignificant work would yield us an immense measure of joy through soul satisfaction. When you put in efforts backed by self control your efforts wont go waste[splinter less]
The sun was warm but the wind was chill
You know how it is with an April day
When sun is out and the wind is still
You are one month on in the middle of may
But if you so much as dare speak
A cloud comes over the sun lit arch
A wind comes of a frozen peak
And you are two months back in the middle of march
Here the poet compares the human life to the climate wise uncertain month of April. He connotes sun?s warmth to the joys while winter chill to the hardships.
A happy and comfortable life suddenly stands over powered by a phase of hardships. Similarly at time a cruel period of life suddenly takes turn towards a joyful phase. Thus the human life stays vacillating between joys and hardships.
A blue bird comes tenderly up to alight
And fronts the wind to unruffled a plume
His song pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to blossom
It is snowing a flake and he half knew
Winter was only playing a possum
Except in color he isn?t blue
But he wouldn?t advise a thing to blossom.
Wise people do not get deceived just by a moments respite from the hardships and be cautious not to send false alarms exhibiting excitement because some innocents may react in haste and stand to be ruined later.
The water for which we may have to look
In summer time with a witching wand
In every wheel ruts now a brook
In every print of hoof a pond
Be glad of water but don?t forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will stand forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth.
The human life is generally seen to vacillate between the joys and hardships. Hence the poet takes water, the essential resource for human survival and connotes it with the most essential income resources. At times, in life we find income in plenty every where around us and we should not be glad. We should always remember that the hardships always keep lurking round the corner and may pounce upon us at any time.
Out of the woods two hulking tramps
[From sleeping god knows where last night
But not long since in the lumber camps]
They thought all chopping was theirs of right
Men of the woods and lumber jacks
They judged me by their appropriate tool
Except as fellow handled an axe
They had no way of knowing a fool
It would be wrong to think that only constant exposure or long experience makes one skillful. If you really love some work and gain pleasure out of it you tend to become skilled though that work is not in anyway a part of an occupation you have chosen to make a living. Frost could not go to university but he was awarded Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times and was awarded honorary degrees by 28 universities including two in England.
Nothing on either side was said
They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head
As that I had no right to play
With what was another man?s work for gain?
My right might be love but theirs was need
and where the two exist in twain
theirs was the better right-agreed.
Many people who take up literature for a living either as teachers, poets or writers long for degrees and doctorates to further their interests like lumber jack need wood to split to make a living. Robert Frost was engaged in some other occupation and was earning his livelihood. He wrote poetry only for his soul satisfaction but he was showered upon with honorary degrees, doctorates, decorations and award. At some corner of his heart the guilt lurks that he was playing with the livelihood of some by writing poetry.
But yield who will to their separation
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight
Only where love and need are one
And work is play for mortal stakes
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and future?s sake.
Poet shrugs off the guilt that lurked at some corner of his heart expressed in the previous stanza. He justifies his act of producing poetry because by way of it he can unite his vocation and avocation so that the god loves it and blesses him because he is producing something useful which his future generations can use and be benefited by.