Kristalyn Thornock is today’s guest. I could probably go on and on about how her post is the type of post I’d like to see from everyone, especially for Poetry Month. But I won’t go on too long. I want the piece to speak for itself because it does so in a much better way than I can.
Basically, poetry can touch us lightly or deeply. It can hit us when we are looking for it or blindside us. We all experience poetry in varying degrees, but it’s when we get a big slap in the face by poetry that it sticks the most. A poem by Robert Frost did that to Kristalyn once. Here’s more about that. And if anyone has a similar experience with poetry, please share it in the comments.
It’s interesting to me how certain things, people, experiences, music, something that is said or we may read, come into our lives at certain times. Some can bring you comfort. Some memories. Some may help you heal. This poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, is a work that came into my life at one of the most difficult times, but has brought continual feelings of comfort and healing in so many ways.
I heard this poem for the first time three and a half years ago at my mother’s funeral. We lost her early to Melanoma, and I still wonder sometimes how I will finish my life without having her wisdom and advice to help guide me. My uncle read this poem, and I remember before he did, he said as he was preparing his remarks for that day, it just kept coming to him that he needed to share it. I thought it was a beautiful poem but in particular the final words “And miles to go before I sleep.” kept ringing in my head afterward.
A week or two passed and I called to ask what the name of the poem was because that last line had stayed with me in such a way I needed to read whole thing again. I looked it up and read it over countless times. I thought about the words and how they could mean different things to different people. This poem could be dissected in so many ways, and I’m sure it has been, but I didn’t need to dissect them, I just needed to hear them. They helped to bring me comfort in such a way than I ever thought a simple poem could.
No matter your religious affiliation, or whether you believe in an afterlife or not, I think most of us feel like we “go somewhere” after we die. Heaven. Hell. Somewhere in between. Who really knows? But the words “Miles to go before I sleep” gave me an added comfort in addition to my religious beliefs that my mom is somewhere. She was doing something. She still has things to do. Even though her body was laid to rest here, she, as a spirit was somewhere else, helping, loving, teaching, doing.
In the process of grieving and trying to find some comfort from this loss, and while still thinking frequently of these words Robert Frost had written, I decided to embroider the poem for a small quilt so I could hang it on my wall. I wanted to have it somewhere to look at frequently as it had essentially become a part of me in a way. I knew this was a project that would span many hours, which it did, but in the end it was well worth it. I got to spend time with these words, thinking about them as I worked. There were thoughts of love for the poem, and for my mother, given with each stitch.
I now have this quilt hanging in my home at the top of the stairs so I see it several times a day. I don’t always stop to read it in its entirety, but it’s there, and I will read a line or two as I walk by on occasion. It picks me up. It makes me smile. It helps me remember my mom.
If you have trouble reading the poem, please click on the image to enlarge it. You can also read the poem in text by clicking HERE.
About the Author:
You can find Kristalyn over on her blog The Sarcastic Palmtree where she blogs about what she reads, wants to read, and many great authors. You can also find some other fun posts about TV shows and music.
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