Tuesday, April 8, 2008

You took my Poem!!

Do you ever feel that some part of art is yours? Something you discover on a back bookshelf at Barnes & Noble, or mis-shelved in the library archives? Something that's not "popular", that wasn't assigned for school or work, that you secretly feel is your very own?

For me, that piece of art is Robert Frost's poem, "Fire & Ice." It's not as obscure as some other works I hold dear to my heart (An Old Fashioned Girl? Deerskin? Anyone?), I realize. But it's also not a poem anyone at Hallmark would think the general population was familiar with.

It also has a personal significance to me, as it was one of the first poems I memorized. I had sneaked my dad's collection of Robert Frost poetry (he was less tolerant of sharing then, but even so, don't tell him I still have it), and browsed through and through, losing myself in Frost's words. When I recited the poem for my dad, he was delighted. It was a bonding moment.

So imagine my...well, disgust....when I opened Stephanie Meyer's Eclipse and found she'd introduced the book with my poem. Now everyone's going to know it. The twelve-year old fan club, the teenage romantics, the adults reliving their non-vampire youth. (I liked Twilight, but the sequels get so darn melodramatic and...sappy.) Meyers has previously relied on well-known, cliched literature, blatantly reworking the Romeo-Juliet story as well as Wuthering Heights. Why couldn't she have stuck to cliches????

Now I'm on a quest to find a new favorite poem. But in honor of National Poetry Month, I leave you with "Fire & Ice." At least my dad and I still have the memories....

Fire & Ice
by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire.
Some say ice.
From what I've tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
to say that for destruction ice
is also great
and would suffice.


  1. I hadn't read that one before. Thank you for introducing me to it (but I promise not to take it).

  2. One of my favorite Frost poems. :) I've never thought of that one as mine.

    My poem is Anne Sexton's Live. Beginning with..."Live or die, but don't poison everything."

    Another great one of hers that I think you'd love, Aerin, is In Celebration of My Uterus.

  3. I love that poem! I read it for the first time about 2 years ago in an American Lit. class.

    I really enjoy lots of poetry and it's hard to pick just 1 favorite so, my poem is a 2-way tie:
    Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant and Topography by Sharon Olds.

    I'm trying to post a poem a day on my blog this month in honor of "National Poetry Month."

  4. Okay, I do that too - certain poems will always be 'mine'... one is rather well known, Annabelle Lee by Poe - I had it memorized when I was six... seriously, I think the reason I write middle grade is because my mother refused to read me normal children's lit - she read me Poe.

    Another one I particularly favor from my college days is Invictus... oh, I love that one, but so does every other late teen who's read it...

  5. I'd also never heard of that one. It's beautiful. I did study a couple of Frost poems at school and I did love them but I think it was TS Elliot who first stole my poetic heart
    "Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me."

    I'm sorry she stole your poem but I'm glad you shared it with me.

  6. Hi Aerin and thanks for your visits to my blog!

    Hm, I like to think that I am more fond of Andrew Marvell and Robert Browning than most. But I think I'd have to go with Gerard Manly Hopkins. I'm dabbling with using one of his poems in my-not-yet-and-may-never-be-
    research-WIP. Still, hands off my Gerard for now!

  7. I don't think of poems for my books but this is a good one! But there are plenty more out there that I'm sure you will enjoy searching out!

  8. Oh, my! This is a subject I have been wanting to post about for so long!

    I felt that way about "Sweeney Todd". It was MY musical, my favorite piece of musical theatre, mine, mine, mine!

    For years, I tee-heed because so few people had seen it. And I knew the soundtrack. Oh, the delight!

    Then came Johnny Freakin' Depp. And What-the-Hell's-Her-Name?

    Damn them. They stole what I treasured and didn't want to share.

    So I can absolutely feel your pain.



  9. My favorite Frost poem is "Two Roads." I think one of the greatest poems ever written is Eliot's "Prufrock," quoted in part above by Janeyv.

    "Fire and Ice" is one of those poems that is so catchy almost everyone loves it the first time they read it. Frost was an honest poet.

  10. If we're going to talk about T.S. Eliot, let's talk about his masterpiece..."The Wasteland." Brilliant!



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