Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Here’s a tidbit from an interview he once gave:

I know it [nature] isn’t kind.  As Matthew Arnold [a British poet] said: “Nature is cruel.  It’s man that’s sick of blood.”  And it doesn’t seem very sick of it.  Nature is always more or less cruel.  Shall I tell you what happened on the porch of a professor – minister he was, too?  The war was going on, a beautiful moonlit night.  He was there with some boys, talking about the horrors of war – how cruel men were to each other and how kind nature was, what a beautiful country this was spread beneath us, you know – moonlight on it.  And just as he talked that way, spreading his arms over it, a bird began to shriek down in the woods – something had got into its nest.  Nature was being cruel.  The woods are killing each other anyway.  That’s where the expression came from “a place in the sun.”  A tree wanting a place in the sun it can’t get.  The other trees won’t give it to it.