Friday, 24 July 2009

Reading Robert Frost(5)

(photo) a working man at the river, in Matsudo, Chiba prefecture, Japan

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be―
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

This is an interesting poem. There is a comparison between the sea and the land. The land symbolizes something that varies and the sea not varies. I think the poem expresses Frost's despair about civilization on the land. And he seems to try to search for hope in the sea without looking out far and looking in deep. The sea is the beginning of life and the end of life. Frost appears to be a pessimist but actually could be an optimist and humorist, reading the last two lines.


John Ward said...

I think the heading of your blog has a typo. It should say grain not crain.

Winter moon said...

Hello Mr Ward,

Thank you for pointing out a typo.
I've corrected.