Poetry Sunday: Reluctance by Robert Frost

I've read a lot of Robert Frost over the years. He's long been a favorite of mine for his expression of feelings about Nature and country things. Having grown up on a farm, I can identify with many of his poems. But in all the time I've been reading him, I don't recall ever coming across this poem until last week. I like it very much, especially that last stanza. The man did have a way with words. 

by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?


  1. I love Robert Frost and Reluctance is one of my favorite poems. I find it unbelievably poignant. Thanks for reminding me of it. I may read it a few times over the next few days.

    1. It is a wonderfully expressive poem and I can hardly believe I hadn't read it before, but I'm so glad that I found it now.

  2. As you say, Dorothy, he could take the simplest of words and weave them into a beautiful poem filled with meaning. His connection to nature was evident, as is shown in this work, which was new to me as it was to you.

    1. I find this poem to be one of his best in expressing his feelings about Nature. He seems to be speaking of autumn as a season both in Nature and in a human life. The analogy is perfect.

  3. Oh, that is good! I agree with you on the last stanza.

  4. Robert Frost is one of my favorites! And Reluctance is in my top three favorite poems from him. Thanks for sharing <3

    1. I'm happy to share and glad that I picked one of your favorites!

  5. Love this poem, Dorothy. We don't have crusted snow yet, but the words perfectly describe my garden right now. It is so hard to accept when a 'season' has come to an end, in the garden or in life. P. x

    1. Especially when it is a season we have greatly enjoyed, but it is important to find the grace to do it.


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