In recent travels to southern parts we came across The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Ripton, Vermont. Part of the Green Mountain National Forest, the trail was built in 1976.
The trail is not what I would consider a hiking trail, but more of a walk in the woods. What makes it unique is the posts installed along the way with Frost poems attached for your reading pleasure. Thus the name ‘Robert Frost Interpretive Trail.’ It was easy to appreciate the connection between Frost’s words and the environment we were in.
Some parts of the trail look over pastures, some over wetlands, and some in the shade of the Green Mountain forest. I noticed, as we went from poem to poem, that I had to force myself to take the time to read the poetry. I wondered why this was. Shouldn’t you want to take the time? I mean why did we stop in the first place? Maybe it was the lack of benches? Possibly a nice bench to sit on next to the poetry post would be more amenable.
I took pictures so I could read them at my leisure.
In addition to the poems posted like the one above, there were Frost quotes carved into wooden panels from time to time. I didn’t really get this one:
In case you can’t read it from the picture it says, “It takes all sorts of in and outdoor schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling.”
Maybe some reader can help me out with that one.
Several of the poems were new to me. I don’t claim to be a Frost expert (not even a Frost novice). This one I really liked:
There’s so much truth in this poem – the last stanza sums it up so well.
Probably Frost’s most popular work – Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening was included as was The Road Less Traveled. I was glad because it left me feeling like I’d come home. Woods like the ones Frost loved so much are familiar to me as a lifetime resident of Vermont, but I still felt a deeper connection when I was reading words I knew nearly as well as the woods.
I’m glad we stopped by these woods on this day. It encouraged me to come home and read more of Frost’s work. I found this one online and I liked it’s message so I’m sharing it today.
A Time to Talk
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.