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Frost, Robert - Never tell me that not one star of all

Identifier

007396

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

Robert Frost – from The Poetry of Robert Frost

 Never tell me that not one star of all
That slip from heaven at night and softly fall
Has been picked up with stones to build a wall.

 Some labourer found one faded and stone cold
And saving that its weight suggested gold
And tugged it from his first too certain hold,

He noticed nothing in it to remark,
He was not used to handling stars thrown dark
And lifeless from an interrupted arc.

He did not recognise in that smooth coal
The one thing palpable besides the soul
To penetrate the air in which we roll.

He did not see how like a flying thing
It brooded ant eggs, and had one large wing
One not so large for flying in a ring,

And a long Bird of Paradise's tail
(Though these when not in use to fly and trail
It drew back in its body like a snail);

Nor know that he might move it from the spot -
The harm was done; from having been star shot
The very nature of the soil was hot

And burning to yield flowers instead of grain
Flowers fanned and not put out by all the rain
Poured on them by his prayers prayed in vain.

He moved it roughly with an iron bar
He loaded an old stoneboat with the star
And not, as you might think, a flying car

 Such as even poets would admit perforce
More practical than Pegasus the horse
If it could put a star back in its course.

He dragged it through the ploughed ground at a pace
But faintly reminiscent of the race
Of jostling rock in interstellar space.

It went for building stone, and I, as though
Commanded in a dream, forever go
To right the wrong that this should have been so.

 You ask where else it could have gone as well,
I do not know – I cannot stop to tell
He might have left it lying where it fell.

 From following walls I never lift my eye
Except at night to places in the sky
Where showers of charted meteors let fly

The source of the experience

Frost, Robert

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Egg

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Grief

Commonsteps

References