Friday, December 21, 2012

Inspired By Literature: The Poems of Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see 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.

I cannot believe I have yet to write about a poet as the focus of an Inspired By Literature post and what better poet to write about than one of the greatest American poets of all time, Robert Frost. I've also selected Robert Frost because I associate him with winter, and as today is the first official day of winter and the shortest day of the year he seemed like a perfect fit for December. Frost had a way with words for all seasons, but something about his poems of winter truly evokes the season. In only a few stanzas, Robert Frost could create the feeling of a chill in the air, the silence of a midnight snowfall and the mysterious spine tingling jingle of a horse and trap gliding through a desolate wood.

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Illustration by Henri Sorensen

Naturally when I think of winter and the mood Robert Frost was able to create in his poems, I'm reminded of crisp and iridescent snow, bright rosy cheeks and glowing eyes warmed by a hearth. Though the feeling of wind burned cheeks is no fun, the fresh winter glow is something that many brands aim to recreate in a blush.

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Illustration by Trina Schart Hyman

I've always loved the transformative power midday sun has on snow. Something that looks ghostly and mysterious at night suddenly becomes resplendent and glorious as an illuminated summer cloud even as the air remains cold. Robert Frost's poems have always had the same effect on me. Nature and the forest particularly is treated in such a way that one feels as though Frost has illuminated its shadowy secrets while pleasant mysteries are left untouched. I suppose I could say that Frost knew which stones to leave unturned which is truly the road less traveled by ...

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From a painting by Charles Burchfield Winter Landscape With Trees (c 1916)

Though winter ultimately evokes one word for me—lip balmI can't help but think of rosy pouts and soft berry hues that allow the natural pigmentation of the lips to show through a bit. Nothing says beautiful during the winter quite like healthy and hydrated rose stained lips.

(Clockwise from top right): No 7 by Poppy King Power, Rouge Baiser L'Authentique Lipstick Moderato, Lipstick Queen Medieval

Robert Frost is, of course, best know for the poem that opened this post, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, but his oeuvre offers so much more than just a few famous poems. Frost addresses nature and the seasons in a way that makes me sigh. It's such a pleasure to read his poems: though they're filled with rich metaphors and allusions to examine one isn't exhausted from analysis while reading. Frosts poems are relaxing and beautiful examples of American poetry at its best.

Do you have a favorite Robert Frost poem? What cosmetic product do you most associate with winter, or the poetry of Robert Frost?