Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Flower Gathering" by Robert Frost

"Flower Gathering" - Robert Frost

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0TpGxFhnsz5

"Flower Gathering" was published in Frost's book of poetry; A Boy's Will in 1913. At the point in time when he decided to craft this poem, Elinor was pregnant with Frost's child, and "Frost went for long walks in the woods and meadows around Allenstown, sometimes with Elinor for company but often not; at this stage of her pregnancy, it was difficult for her to take extended walks, especially when climbing was involved"(Parini 56). Frost felt remorseful about abandoning his wife on these walks; his "guilt over going without her was caught in 'Flower Gathering'" in the beginning four lines. The third and fourth lines even go so far as to incriminate Elinor for "going a little way just to make him feel bad about continuing on"(Parini 57) his lonesome journey to gather flowers for his pregnant wife.

(page 12-13 in The Poetry of Robert Frost)

Listen to my reading of:

 Flower Gathering

I left you in the morning, 
And in the morning glow 
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?

All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure, 
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away.

      
I firmly agree with Parini's interpretation of the poem, especially knowing the fact that Frost's beloved wife was, in fact, pregnant at the time "Flower Gathering" was written. The questions in the poem seem to be rhetorical questions toward Elinor; chastising Elinor for how she forces him to feel as if he is being selfish as he embarks alone on a walk which Elinor would love to accompany him, only to be greeted upon his return with a beautiful bouquet of hand-picked flowers. The context that the poem relates to provides an interesting, almost fight-like mental scenario between Elinor and Frost to envision when comprehending it. Prior to gaining knowledge through Robert Frost: a life by Jay Parini, my views on "Flower Gathering" would have differed greatly.




















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