Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение города Керчи Республики Крым "Специализированная школа № 1 имени Володи Дубинина"

 







R. FROST

 

LESSONS 1-2

Robert Frost

(1874—1963)

 

Long before he became known as the greatest American poet of his time, Robert Frost worked as a farm-hand, a bobbin boy in a mill, a shoemaker, a teacher in country schools, and an editor. He was born in San Francisco, California, in a family of a journalist. Frost entered Harvard in his twenty- second year, but in two years’ time left it and began farming and then also teaching. But his head was full of poems.

When he was thirty-seven, Frost sold the farm and sailed with his family for England, where his first books “A Boy’s Will” and “North of Boston” were published and brought him fame. When in 1915 Frost returned to America, he found himself famous and well provided for. Thus, the most American of poets, Frost was first recognized not in his own country, but abroad.

Frost’s poems are simple and intelligible. They have neither complex met­aphorical images, nor intricate symbols. Man and nature, land and peasant who cultivates it — this is the world of Frost’s poetical images. The peasant labour made him meditative and gave philosophical depth to his poetry. There­fore, Frost’s language is richly aphoristic. Among his best-known poems are: “The Tuft of Flowers”, “Birches”, “Dust of Snow”, “Hyla Brook”, “Mending Wall”, “October”.

 

THE TUFT OF FLOWERS

I went to turn the grass once after one

Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen

Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;

I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,

And I must be, as he had been,— alone,

“As all must be,” I said within my heart,

“Whether they work together or apart.”

But as I said it, swift there passed me by

 On noiseless wing a bewildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night

Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,

As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,

And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,

And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;.

But he turned first, and led my eye to look

 At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared

Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name,

Finding them butterfly weed when I came.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,

Leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him,

But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,

Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,

And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;

So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,

And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech

With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

“Men work together,” I told him from the heart,

“Whether they work together or apart.”


 

BIRCHES

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.

Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning

After a rain. They click upon themselves

As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.

Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust —

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,

And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed

So low for long, they never right themselves:

You may see their trunks arching in the woods

Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground

Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair

Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.

But I was going to say when Truth broke in     

With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm

I should prefer to have some boy bend them

As he went out and in to fetch the cows —

Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,

Whose only play was what he found himself,

Summer or winter, and could play alone.

One by one he subdued his father’s trees

By riding them down over and over again

Until he took the stiffness out of them,

And not one but hung limp, not one was left

For him to conquer. He learned all there was

To learn about not launching out too soon

And so not carrying the tree away

Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise

To the top branches, climbing carefully

With the same pains you use to fill a cup

 Up to the brim, and even above the brim.

Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,

Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.

And so I dream of going back to be.

It’s when I’m weary of considerations,

And life is too much like a pathless wood

Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs

Broken across it, and one eye is weeping

From a twig’s having lashed across it open.

I’d like to get away from earth awhile

And then come back to it and begin over.

May no fate willfully misunderstand me

And half grant what I wish and snatch me away

Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:

I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.

I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,

And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk

Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,

But dipped its top and set me down again.

That would be good both going and coming back.

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

 

MENDING WALL

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

 Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

 But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

 Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

OCTOBER

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

To-morrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

 Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one'far away.

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost, Whose clustered fruit must else be lost —

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

TASKS TO LESSONS 1-2

TASK 1. Read and translate the poems

TASK 2. Pick out new words. in your vocabulary

TASK 3. Give your literary translation of a poem