F-A Reply from Robert Frost #atozchallenge.

Yesterday, I ended up in another muddle working on these letters to dead poets. In case you’re not familiar with the name Robert Frost, you will probably know his poem:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

However, over time, the last three lines have taken on a life of their own, which is quite different to the poem’s intended meaning. So. instead of being about making life’s choices and living without regrets, they’ve come to celebrate the trailblazing adventurer or hippy going against the flow.

Anyway, Frost has been beavering away overnight because I received his reply this morning:

Dear Rowena,

You just can’t imagine what’s it’s been like to experience warm sunlight again after such a long, cold Winter and so many years underground. As much as I love conversing with nature and appreciate solitude, people need people. It was such an incredible awakening to receive your letter. Thank you very, very much!

I have given your question much consideration. Should your children take the freeway or follow the road less travelled? Although this wasn’t the intent of the original poem, nevertheless, it’s an important question. How do we as parents protect our kids and extend them at the same time?

You have already answered this dilemma for your own kids. You know you wouldn’t be where you are now, if you’d taken it easy. Hadn’t fought hard for every inch of progress through rugged, unchartered terrain. Your kids are Scouts, which extends them in all sorts of directions and teaches them how to approach life’s challenges through being prepared for anything. If you do everything for them, they’re just going to fall straight on their face.

Here are a few points I jotted down:

  • Kids aren’t like Humpty Dumpty. As long as it’s not a catastrophic fall, they bounce back.
  • We can not live without risk.
  • Nothing grows in the dark.
  • Don’t smother your kids. Everyone needs room to breathe and that’s why I always loved walking through the woods and being with nature.

Reading your letter further, you approached the road less travelled from another perspective, asking whether kids should conform or explore their individuality. Was it worth being bullied to express yourself?

Naturally, I am very concerned that difference is not encouraged. You’re right about human discovery being built on a curious and inquiring mind. You don’t get that sticking to the norm. You have to go off-road. It really concerns me that these thinkers, who could ultimately change our world and solve some of critical questions of the time, would be ridiculed, rejected and have no friends. That’s such  a travesty and needs to change! These young seeds must be watered, cultivated and encouraged…NOT chopped down!

Anyway, not knowing how long I have above ground, I must carpe diem seize the day and go for another walk.

You truly don’t appreciate what it means to be alive until it’s too late. My goodness! Even the grass is so green!

Thank you so much!

Your friend,

Robert Frost

Has this given you any food for thought? I’d love to hear from you. That poem has certainly given me a lot to think about.

Best wishes,

Rowena

This is part of my series of Letters to Dead Poets which is for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “F-A Reply from Robert Frost #atozchallenge.

  1. Barbara Hollyfield

    So much of my life’s value system is built upon the road less traveled. Spirituality, it’s the narrow road. Personally, it’s the old road so many have abandoned. And sometimes I’m that teenager again doing down the “new” road that isn’t even open to the public yet at over 140mph in a Hurst Olds Cutlass Supreme.

  2. Norah

    I hope all of these clever letters of yours, and their wonderful responses, are going to be compiled into a book.
    I’m so pleased to hear Robert Frost praising the choices you have made for your kids. He knows what he’s talking about. 🙂

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. Yes, my A-Z Choice turned into a book project. I first started writing a book of life lessons for my kids 8 years ago and have been nibbling away at it in various guises ever since but I’ve needed that thread to hold it together and this theme has finally achieved that.
    Tomorrow, I’m off to a book lunch with Thomas & Meg Keneally at Pearl Beach. They’ve written a book together but I’m mainly going as I’ve read a few of his books about Irish history and I want to meet him. Very exciting. Hope you’ve had a great week! xx Rowena

  4. roweeee Post author

    My husband comes from Tasmania and loved nothing more than hooning along a dirt road at speeds he’s not admitting to. Values and character are really important to me, which probably puts me on an old road too. Dare I mention the word Kardashian!
    Let’s hope they don’t run for President!
    xx Rowena

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  6. Norah

    That is exciting! I read one or two of Tom’s books myself – a long time ago. I didn’t know about the book with Meg (actually didn’t know about Meg). Enjoy the session. Remember to not gush too much!!! 🙂 Have a great week.

  7. roweeee Post author

    Oh dear. I did gush too much but not at him. I was struck by what she was saying. I also related to the whole experience of having that famous person in your family and trying to find your own place. Usually, you grow up with a range of pulls and influences but when you have someone mega successful, there’s like a magnetic pull either towards or away and it’s very hard to have a neutral, test the waters approach to seeing whether your interested or not. I had such expectations put on me with the piano and ended up rejecting it for awhile. I much prefer the violin.
    For Meg, Tom is a huge success and it is hard to find your way. Some would say it’s easier but it could also be more difficult. She spoke about how writing is a solitary thing so she was watching from the outside looking in and I think she’s particularly loved working on the book with him to experience that inside with him. Wouldn’t that just be amazing!

  8. roweeee Post author

    It’s quite difficult and you certainly do not have your own space. Moreover, I don’t just take anything up for the hell of it or see how it goes. Has to lead somewhere. I am quite an ambitious person. Not necessarily in conventional ways but I’ve always been working on my writing with a view of getting my books published.

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