Sunday, 4 December 2011

Dawn Goes Down Today


Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

– Nothing Gold Can Stay a poem by Robert Frost.

It took Robert Frost just eight lines to give us, what Virginia Woolf in A Room of One's Own refers to as "a nugget of pure truth". Etched in our memory, we wrap our minds around these lines and it seems we can fill sheets upon sheets of paper trying to fathom their depth. While Robert Frost needed only eight lines.

"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting...Read it a hundred times; it will forever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance. It can never lose its sense of a meaning that once unfolded by surprise as it went."
– Robert Frost, "The Figure a Poem Makes"

Robert Frost referred to poetry as "a momentary stay against confusion". He elevated poetry to the level of science– as both deal in metaphors. Then went on to say, "all metaphors break down somewhere". His philosophy, where doubt follows faith, and uncertainty follows certainty, is something that practitioners of Eastern philosophy, would totally "get" without the need for sheets upon sheets of paper.


Asha said...

Beautiful! The photos, the poem, your description of Frost's poetry - had not looked at it that way.

Anvita Lakhera said...

Thank you, Asha :)
Just read someone lament that all 'great poets' are forced-taught (if it is possible) as part of school curriculum. That results in most people growing up to become indifferent as they don't really 'read' the poems. Often after leaving school they never go back to those poems/poets again. But if they do they are surprised by what they 'read', as if they are reading them for the first time.
It takes years to unlearn all things taught (force fed?) in (most) school. It truly is lamentable.