Saturday, November 06, 2010

Gathering Leaves

by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight;
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?

I have become increasingly negligent with this blog. I'm not sure why. I think about it quite a bit. I am constantly looking for things to blog about. I even have the time. I just haven't done it. It's not that I'm not interested in doing it any more. I am. It's just that sometimes I wonder at the weight of what I write. Like Frost's poem here: Next to nothing for to nothing for use. I want what I write to have some weight, some merit, some use...for myself if no one else. But that's a pretty heavy demand, especially if you're going to write every day. I ask my students to write five times a week in their journals. I give them writing promts 2-3 of those days, but they are supposed to come up with something worth writing down the other 2-3 days. An even heavier demand of reluctant writers I'm realizing.

But...a crop is a crop, according to Frost. And who's to say where the harvest shall stop? Who's to say what's meaningful? What seems lightweight to one, might make all the difference to another. And so...I'm determined to do what I ask my students to do: write at least 5 times a week here. Don't hold me to it. But I will try...

Photo: an impromptu sketch one of my seniors made of me yesterday afternoon.

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