Daily Archives: June 7, 2011

Changes and Choices

Today I read two blogs that set me on this path.  First I read cycling around the neighborhood from my blogging friend Robin at bogsofohio and then I read Monica’s post   As you know by now I am a quotation and poetry nut so I immediately remembered two of my favorite poems –

The Way Through The Woods by Rudyard Kipling:

 They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Listen to Nigel Planer read the poem here.

and The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost:

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 listen here to Alan Bates’ rendition of this poem.

In case you don’t know Robin lives an idyllic life in beautiful surroundings and as soon as I saw the first photos today, I thought of Rudyard Kipling.  Kipling is best remembered for his celebration of British imperialism in his poetry, short stories and novels.  Most people know of “If” and “The Jungle Book” “Mandalay” and Gunga Din” but he also wrote political essays for the newspapers of his time.  He  received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.   He was one of the most popular English authors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in both prose and verse.  At the school I attended in London, Kipling was a favorite of the English staff and so we were brought up reciting his poems and hearing about his many other writings.

Monica’s post was on The Road Not Taken and how the decision had affected her life.  From time to time, we must surely all ask ourselves the question of what if we had taken the other road.

Robert Frost was an American writer of prose and poetry. He was awarded four Pulitzer prizes for poetry.

The two authors lived during the same period – Frost 1874-1963 and Kipling 1865-1936 and one wonders if their lives ever crossed.  We do know that Kipling lived in Vermont for a while and it is now possible to stay at his house “Naulakha” where he wrote “Captain Courageous”.

While we were not fed a diet of Robert Frost at school, we did have a brief introduction to his writing and I became entranced.  His writing is not as easy to read as Kipling’s.  It doesn’t of course have the thrum of British Imperialism.  But if you are into poetry I suggest you read some of his.  My favorites include :

  • For once, then something
  • A girl’s garden
  • The oven bird.

“We are where we are today because of the choices we made yesterday” Judith Baxter, blogger, writer, friend.