Sunday Quote: Frost on a Lump in the Throat


A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
-Robert Frost


Frost has always had the ability to elicit a lump in my throat, so I'll share this lesser-known favorite of his work. I used the final stanza as an epigraph on one of my desert-set novels.

Desert Places

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.


The woods around it have it—it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.


And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it be less—
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.


They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home

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