Wednesday, 14 July 2010

AlphaPoem of the Week – Asking for Roses

I am in a happy, life-affirming, hoorah-type mood today, and have just found this poem to complement that mood.

Robert Frost is probably best known for his famous poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, which might be an APOTW another time.  ‘Asking for Roses’ has a wonderful lyricism to it, like children’s poetry, but is suffused with sensuous rose petals and thinly-veiled virgins ripe for the plucking!

This joyful poem’s for CiBi and her eternal love of literature.

Asking for Roses
Robert Frost

A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
'I wonder,' I say, 'who the owner of those is.'
'Oh, no one you know,' she answers me airy,
'But one we must ask if we want any roses.'

So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

'Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?'
'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
'Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
'Tis summer again; there's two come for roses.

'A word with you, that of the singer recalling--
Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.'

We do not loosen our hands' intertwining
(Not caring so very much what she supposes),
There when she comes on us mistily shining

And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.

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