Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Peck of Gold -R. Frost

The 1870's was the height of the Silver mining burst that happened after the Gold Rush had died down in San Francisco. Parini believes that "Given Will Frost's romantic mine-set, San Francisco was just the place for him." Also connecting Robert Frost's comment about his father, "The excitement of the place appealed to my Father. He was a part of it. There was gold dust in his eyes, you might say," to his poem "A Peck of Gold". (Parini 7).

A Peck of Gold
Click here to listen!

Dust always blowing about the town,
Except when sea-fog laid it down,
And I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.

All the dust the wind blew high
Appeared like gold in the sunset sky,
But I was one of the children told
Some of the dust was really gold.

Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
"We all must eat our peck of gold".

My impressions of the poem are varied and lean more towards the impressions Frost's childhood had on him. He obviously grew up in San Francisco, where his father was hungry for money, as arguably most were.  The city is known for being foggy quite frequently, which would suggest that the gold dust that rolls in with the fog is significant. Personally, the poem creates a beautiful image of the city as one might think (valley like, the giant red bridge jutting out of the bay), then laced with little gold specks strung about. For me, good poetry can create a vivid image, just as Frost has done here for me.


  1. You can listen to the poem by clicking the "click here to listen" just under the poems title.

    Or copy the URL:

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