A Gift from Robert Frost

The Ethical ELA prompts are a gift each month. Even when my time to participate is limited, I look forward to each prompt, and spend time noodling about with them in my notebooks. They always get me thinking in new ways and sometimes lead me to surprising discoveries.

This month’s prompt from Jennifer Guyor-Jowett was “Create a poem of titles from a poet, whose words are a gift to you (much like book spine poetry). Feel free to pretty the titles up with as many of your own words as you’d like or add words sparingly. “

I have been spending some time with Robert Frost lately, so I celebrated the gifts of his words in my poem.

The Aim Was Song*

Long After
The Last Mowing,
I wander through
A Dust of Snow,
regretting attention not paid
during Blue-Butterfly Days
and to The Cow in Apple Time.

The Rose Family
has long moved on and
The Fireflies in the Garden
long ago flickered
one last time
then departed.

Did you notice?
Did you hear
The Last Word of a Bluebird
before it took flight
into Fragmentary Blue
with Love and a Question
for us all:
Why do we save
Our Singing Strength?

Look! See!
Find The Courage to Be New!
A Late Walk
is better than none.
Add your voice
to the chorus.
Let it pour forth
vulnerable and beautiful
like The Exposed Nest.
For ultimately,
The Aim Was Song.

©Molly Hogan

(*Title Poetry From Robert Frost)

Michelle Kogan, poet, artist, and activist, is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog. Be sure to stop by!

26 thoughts on “A Gift from Robert Frost

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I want to know more about this poem for ideas to use with my students. I love how you created such a profound and beautiful poem. I love this imagery “Did you hear
    The Last Word of a Bluebird
    before it took flight
    into Fragmentary Blue”

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Isn’t “Fragmentary Blue” a perfect phrase? I was lucky enough to have “The Poetry of Robert Frost” at hand, so I could browse through titles. Having books to browse would probably be really helpful for your students as well (as opposed to on line searching).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie says:

    I recognize some of the titles you gracefully slipped in, Molly, and the poem fits you so beautifully, knowing how nature gives you constant inspiration. You’ve shown your Frost collaboration is a fine one! The prompt is wonderful, I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jama says:

    What a beautiful job you did with this poem! Seamless integration of Frost’s titles with your wonderful words. Perfect final line too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. haitiruth says:

    What a cool idea! And I love the result! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh what fun to read, but it was probably a bit more challenging to write–you pulled it off very well. I love how the titled lines fit into your poem, sometimes adding a bit of surprise…
    Is that your sparrow pic, it’s a gorgeous image, if it’s yours could I borrow it in a sketch sometime? Thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Annie Dillard reminded us’ Be careful what you read, for that is what you’ll write.’ It is clear to me upon reading your poem that you have been sharing your reading time in esteemed company Molly. I like this idea you have modeled for us. There is inspiration and some latitude for the writer. I shall retire to my notebook with renewed ambition. Your poem possesses a sense of longing for what has passed and its connection to song adds additional appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s funny that you mention Annie Dillard, because I’ve had an Annie Dillard quote floating about in my head–the same one that Margaret Simon sent Heidi Mordhorst and that she shared today. In a nutshell, the quote says that hoarding our words (or treasures or song) leads not to an overflowing coffer but to a pile of ashes. Happy writing, Alan!


  7. Mitchell Linda says:

    Molly, this is wonderful! So many gifts from Frost and now you. What a great way to have a conversation with a poet. I especially like, “A late walk is better than none.” And, how you finish with “The aim was song”…which makes a perfect title for your found poem. Enjoy this week. I wish you rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, like the others who replied, I do like your poem and especially like the last stanza as it delicately leads me to “Find The Courage to Be New!” Nature has moved you to create another beautiful poem with Frost’s help.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a terrific prompt, and I love your response to it. You’ve seamlessly woven Frost’s titles together with your words. I especially love the “Fragmentary Blue” and these wise words: “Look! See!
    Find The Courage to Be New!”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a fun kind of tribute to those who inspire us. “Why do we save our Singing Strength”–so similar to the message of the Annie Dillard quote, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. macrush53 says:

    This is a stunning poem. I may have to try this in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. maryleehahn says:

    My Frost anthology now calls to me, as do all my Billy Collins books! What a fun challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

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