Robert Frost: The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

Old Barn in Hopewell (2014)

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things
By Robert Frost

The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
Like a pistil after the petals go.

The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place’s name.

No more it opened with all one end
For teams that came by the stony road
To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs
And brush the mow with the summer load.

The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh
From too much dwelling on what has been.

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe the phoebes wept.

11 thoughts on “Robert Frost: The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

  1. Thank you for that, Susan.

    You and your John were among my first thoughts when I heard the news. I understand the ‘reasons’ for the end of the blog,
    but the ‘community’ . . . that ‘ending’ seems a great pity for many of us who came here and shared our thoughts and prayers for one another. All I know is that, in the Body of Christ, people don’t ‘say goodbye’, but continue to care for one another. Some things don’t ‘end’, no.

    You have been a blessing, Susan.

    if you blog on another site, let us know, and I will come and say hello from time to time 🙂


  2. Frost is seeing deeper connections that what is apparent to the untrained eye. Despite the appearance of normalcy on the part of the birds he reads in their acknowledgment of loss in the place. They know something is askew. Something is gone. There is a connection here at Imonk that is apparent to no mortal eye, or at least very few, because this community is “virtual”. This house will be gone and life will not look different to the world but something will be askew until life’s picture fills in again over time. Not to be overly dramatic but this is a special place and it will be odd for some time when it is not around. There is a very real and living connection that will be missed. It’s almost like heading into the wilderness, fortified and equipped but alone again. I feel sorry for those who are just entering that wilderness but will not have the benefit of this place. The Lord does provide, of course, for those that seek so those folks will find their way but this was my way. It has been deeply meaningful, life changing and spiritually sustaining. Thank you.


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