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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The Secret Sits by Robert Frost

Robert Frost
It’s just a rhyming couplet really but these lines by Robert Frost have so many possible meanings. It seems to be referring to a children's game but it is a serious 'grown-up' piece. I think Frost was saying something about this world from a religious point of view; we are all dancing in a circle contemplating life while, in the centre, the ‘secret’ is God, the only one knows the truth behind everything that exists. “We”, the poet and the reader, can only try to imagine the meaning.

It could also be interpreted as saying that we, individually, can interpret the world and the true reality of life as we see fit based on our own experiences and morality. The Secret is personified (by having a capital letter) and no one on the outside will ever gain access because it will forever remain unknown and the poem itself is a secret because it's real meaning is hidden from us.
I'm listening to a song that always makes me feel good: Two of Us by The Beatles. Listen to it here.


Hels said...

I think death is the ultimate centre/end of life. And no matter how old we become, or how many seances we go to contacting our late parents and grandparents, our dancing around is merely filling life while we have it.

bazza said...

Hels: I agree! There isn't anything else to come....We'd best make the most of our one time around.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - interesting quote and thoughts ... so true though - we have 'all the know' yet never admit it or learn about it ... we also have the Gift of Time - it is free and we need to use it wisely.

Thanks for this and for the reminder about the Beatles 'The Two of Us' ... stay safe - Hilary

bazza said...

Hilary: I can't think of any other two poem (it IS a complete poem), that is so deep and thought-provoking. I hope you enjoyed Two of Us!

Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, Some thoughts on this. First, it almost seems like one of those clever Grooks by Piet Hein--remember those?

Frost's poems tend to work on two levels, the surface level and the metaphoric one. Moreover, Frost was known to refuse to discuss the meaning of his poems, insisting that they were only what the reader saw on the paper. I wonder if this could be a self-spoofing retort (that would explain the short two lines; couplets are more often used for bon mots than for serious philosophy) directed at the readers in the outside circle making up elaborate interpretations, while the central author, in this case Frost, could help them but declines to.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Hels interpretation of Frost’s poem is very interesting and one that I can agree with.

bazza said...

Arleen: Yes, she a clever lady!

bazza said...

Jim: I believe that Frost was commissioned to write those lines for an ecumenical client. However, although I seem to remember reading that, I can't find the information now.
I had to Google "Grooks by Piet Hein" - didn't know about them!

Sherry Ellis said...

I guess Frost is the only one who really knows who the "Secret" is. Very interesting interpretation!

bazza said...

Sherry: It's very enigmatic for such a short piece!