Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Fitting Memorial

Over the past few days, coverage of the life and death of Senator Edward Kennedy have been moving. Of all the things that have been said, one of the most moving, in my opinion, are the repeated references to my favorite Robert Frost poem.

I have heard a number of commentators miss-attribute the lines to The Road Not Taken, a good poem, but not the one that was often quoted by Senator Kennedy in his stump speeches. The lines "I have promises to keep; and miles to go before I sleep" Come not from The Road Not Taken but from Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.

How fitting that a man with such an ingrained sense of duty to family, country, and humanity should choose these lines to close his speeches. How fitting also that the poem should be brought-up in the middle of the summer. The world is a bit darker and colder without Senator Kennedy in it. My wishes for comfort and solace go out to his family!

Wherever you are today, I wish you peace and happiness!

Don Bergquist - August 29, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
New Hampshire
1923

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might be too young to remember the flamboyant Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from the 1960's and 1970's. As he got older he also liked to say that he had promises to keep and miles to go before he could sleep.

Anonymous Reader

Don Bergquist said...

Dear Anonymous Reader:

Of course I remember Pierre Trudeau! He was that clueless detective in The Pink Panther, right?

Just kidding. I remember learning about him, but I do not remember anything about him... he is before my political awareness of foreign politics. But if he was known for saying that, he was also quoting Frost. (Unless he was quoting Kennedy, who was quoting Frost.)

Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog!

djb