Too often these days, we tend to think of the American poet Robert Frost [1874-1963] as a grand old man, white-haired and crotchety, conjuring gnomes and twinkling amusedly under the glare of his public's admiration (and four Pulitzers), durably living far beyond his time, a throwback to an earlier age of crusty stubborn Yankee practicality and tested country wisdom.
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows.