Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poetry Month, Day 1: Robert Frost's "The Runaway"

Happy Poetry Month! I love poetry, and am always seeking out more poetry about horses in particular. So for April I thought I'd do a poem a day. I'll start with one of my favorite horse poems of all time.

"The Runaway"
Robert Frost

Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall,
We stopped by a mountain pasture to say 'Whose colt?' 
A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall, 
The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head 
And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt. 
We heard the miniature thunder where he fled, 
And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and grey, 
Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes. 
'I think the little fellow's afraid of the snow. 
He isn't winter-broken. It isn't play 
With the little fellow at all. He's running away. 
I doubt if even his mother could tell him, "Sakes, 
It's only weather". He'd think she didn't know ! 
Where is his mother? He can't be out alone.' 
And now he comes again with a clatter of stone 
And mounts the wall again with whited eyes 
And all his tail that isn't hair up straight. 
He shudders his coat as if to throw off flies. 
'Whoever it is that leaves him out so late, 
When other creatures have gone to stall and bin, 
Ought to be told to come and take him in.'


  1. I heard a recording of Frost himself reading that. I'd read it repeatedly in various collections and never understood until I heard it: the cadences made it so much clearer. And now I recite it to myself in early winter...

    1. He did have a very specific way of talking and of reading his poetry. If you're interested in hearing more these are from an old project of mine at a former job: http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/local_files/robert_frost/lectures_readings/


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