Robert Frost Still Documenting Diverged Roads 49 Years Later
Just outside of this picture’s frame, the beefy ghost of Robert Frost taps imaginary pencil to pad of paper and documents roads and pathways and possible metaphors for life. Frost’s apparition gets beefier every year (more mist, more shroud, less spindly legs, a slightly more defined black jacket) because of the incessant attention paid to his poems, hence, his ego, and the body in which his spirit once spent 88 years.
The Spirit of Frost gains so much thought-form matter, he’s almost becoming as dense as a cloud in a thunderstorm. Almost. Not quite actual meat yet, but the potential looms. Frost will probably materialize somewhere in Namibia. He’ll wander the wilderness, confused as Reagan in the White House. He’ll forever work on one poem. Every pencil stroke he makes on that cool white paper pad will disappear soon after. Always the blank slate.
Frost. Sixty-eight years of rhymes and allegories, similes, allusions. There’s very little chance the soul of a human so popular, and such a household name as Robert Frost, could ever completely slip away into the astral realm unnoticed.
In 1961, Frost was reading “The Gift Outright” at Kennedy’s inauguration, and almost exactly two years later, Frost died from a botched prostate surgery. Hunter S Thompson would say, “Tough titty, man.” Warren Zevon would hope Frost had enjoyed every sandwich he’d eaten in his life. Kurt Vonnegut would brush off that disaster with an, “And so it goes”. But I say, so it doesn’t go. The baffled, overcharged spirit of Frost wanders the world, trapped in a false belief that he’s dreaming. But he’s dead.
His ghost seeks crossroads. Tire tracks. He spots one path that diverges into two, and then he hovers and waits for sunset, for the most poignant moment of the day and night, when all of Gaia’s energy ramps up like a powerful car engine responding to an unrelenting foot on the acceleration pedal. And then everything stops. For eleven seconds. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, outside all city limits and noise pollution, you will sense that floored energy. You will notice when it cuts out. And everything stands still. Eleven seconds. On your fingers you can count it: One. Two. Three….
Robert Frost knows it. He’s never given it up. But only because the massive attention the world’s living humans still shower on him. So he’s cursed, in a sense, because he can’t move on, inward, outward, to that other dimension of dimensions. Until he’s forgotten, Frost is doomed to analyze roads and travelers. He is forced to continuously sigh.
A poem is a poem, is a poem. Or maybe not. All the greats die, and the rest of us with them. The important message here is to avoid ensnaring your spirit, your soul, your consciousness in too many earthly memorials and tributes dedicated in your honor. Attached to your name.
And now, to keep feeding into the Frost machine, here is an audio version of the poet reading “The Gift Outright”: