I watched David Olney's weekly video clip this morning. He did "Another Place, Another Time," which will be on an upcoming thematic cd called Robbery and Murder. The song is originally from his album High, Wide and Lonesome. That will always be one of my favorite albums because it's the first time I heard him and where I fell immediately and madly in love with him and his songwriting. I was fascinated by the way he sang two songs about the same event from completely different points of view. That was of course before I knew that he sang from viewpoints ranging from an iceberg to a French prostitute.
He did a reading of some Robert Frost…because he is…or is going to be…in New Hampshire. That made me think of my mother of course. She grew up mostly in Derry, New Hampshire, the home of Robert Frost. She went to Pinkerton Academy where his father taught….and she could recite Robert Frost poems…but now I forget what ones they were. I hate that.
A number of years ago my mother and I drove through Derry….I saw the street where she lived and we drove by Robert Frost's farm that was on the edge of town. I must have taken pictures but if I did I don't seem to have them. My mother would almost cry with pleasure as we drove by the old stone walls you still find in New England. They made her so happy. And when I look at this picture of his homestead….one of those classic connected farm buildings of New England….it gives me that same burst of pleasure that I think the stone walls gave her. Childhood memories of driving through Maine and seeing old farmhouses with hollyhocks in front of them and the slightly curving lines of sometimes sagging outbuildings that connected the main house with the barn. Now they've almost all either been torn down or vinyl sided into straight lines and painted historically correct colors. And despite the fact that I know historically speaking many of those buildings weren't originally white….in my childhood almost all the big old houses, Victorian or Federal or what have you….were painted white. And so sometimes I miss those lines of slightly sagging white buildings, one after another, with the green barn doors. Just like my mom missed her stone walls.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
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.