Friday, June 22, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Frost

It's Poetry Friday!

Here's a whole collection of Robert Frost poetry readings, recorded in 1956, and provided by Harper Audio. The one I'm going to quote starts at 4:50 or so in the section called "The Death of the Hired Man." To get to a higher quality recording of this selection, use this link and go forward about 1/3 of the way.
The Death of the Hired Man
by Robert Frost

MARY sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. “Silas is back.”
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her. “Be kind,” she said.
She took the market things from Warren’s arms
And set them on the porch, then drew him down
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.

“When was I ever anything but kind to him?
But I’ll not have the fellow back,” he said.
“I told him so last haying, didn’t I?
‘If he left then,’ I said, ‘that ended it.’
What good is he? Who else will harbour him
At his age for the little he can do?
What help he is there’s no depending on.
Off he goes always when I need him most.
‘He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,
Enough at least to buy tobacco with,
So he won’t have to beg and be beholden.’
‘All right,’ I say, ‘I can’t afford to pay
Any fixed wages, though I wish I could.’
‘Someone else can.’ ‘Then someone else will have to.’
I shouldn’t mind his bettering himself
If that was what it was. You can be certain,
When he begins like that, there’s someone at him
Trying to coax him off with pocket-money,—
In haying time, when any help is scarce.
In winter he comes back to us. I’m done.”

“Sh! not so loud: he’ll hear you,” Mary said.

“I want him to: he’ll have to soon or late.”

“He’s worn out. He’s asleep beside the stove.
When I came up from Rowe’s I found him here,
Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,
A miserable sight, and frightening, too—
You needn’t smile—I didn’t recognise him—
I wasn’t looking for him—and he’s changed.
Wait till you see.”

Go here to read the rest of the poem. It tells quite a story. Especially the part around these lines:
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”



Mary Lee said...

I lovelovelove Robert Frost's reading of this poem!

Michele said...

Some of my favourite lines about Home are Frost's:

Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in."


Erin said...

You've been tagged! :)