The woods are lovely, dark and deep

‘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’


Well….on a snow day you have to have a snow themed post and a snow themed poem. One of the reasons I post poetry is the poem’s power to shatter through thought and expose the heart of experience. This snow day thing brings up the balance between different types of ‘should’. Should I be with what is here now, calling my soul, or should I be with the earlier call – the promises I made?

Robert Frost is balanced so finely in his poem between the two poles of life – being and doing. His poem depicts him strung out, caught in the agony of the dilemma, peace and surrender to the call of the beautiful dark interior world, or forward, onward to meet his responsibilities.

Anyway, here is the poem, as if you need any reminder…



Who’s woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not seem 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.

3 Replies to “The woods are lovely, dark and deep”

  1. I love that poem Katy, thank you, here’s Mary
    First Snow

    The snow
    began here
    this morning and all day
    continued, its white
    rhetoric everywhere
    calling us back to why, how,
    whence such beauty and what
    the meaning; such
    an oracular fever! flowing
    past windows, an energy it seemed
    would never ebb, never settle
    less than lovely! and only now,
    deep into night,
    it has finally ended.
    The silence
    is immense,
    and the heavens still hold
    a million candles, nowhere
    the familiar things:
    stars, the moon,
    the darkness we expect
    and nightly turn from. Trees
    glitter like castles
    of ribbons, the broad fields
    smolder with light, a passing
    creekbed lies
    heaped with shining hills;
    and though the questions
    that have assailed us all day
    remain — not a single
    answer has been found –
    walking out now
    into the silence and the light
    under the trees,
    and through the fields,
    feels like one.

    –Mary Oliver ©

    Liked by 1 person

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