Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Re-Reading Frost"

My autumn re-reading of Robert Frost stalled out a couple of weeks ago and has yet to get back on track. It's been a busy October!

I hope to do better in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I had to smile when I saw this lovely little poem by Linda Pastan, entitled "Re-Reading Frost." It begins:

Sometimes I think all the best poems
have been written already,
and no one has time to read them,
so why try to write more?

I'd quote the rest, but it's under copyright. You can find it at yesterday's Writer's Almanac, Garrison Keillor's wonderful "poem and writer's notes of the day."

Pastan's poem goes on to celebrate her own writing moments, to affirm her desire to write even if her creative efforts seem as small as one triangle note played within a grand orchestra. I think great writing -- and even just really, really good writing -- does this for me too. It humbles me, makes me feel grateful, but also inspires me to want to step into the conversation myself. After all, why should we feel diminished by beautiful language, by careful vision?

As Pastan finishes up:
And I decide not to stop trying,

at least not for a while, though in truth
I'd rather just sit here reading
how someone else has been acquainted
with the night already, and perfectly.


Erin said...

Nice poem, and one I can definitely relate to!

Beth said...

I liked it a lot! I think I've read a couple of Pastan's poems online; I'm thinking I should try to check her work out more fully in an actual book sometime!