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Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

Evening In A Sugar Orchard


From where I lingered in a lull in March
outside the sugar-house one night for choice,
I called the fireman with a careful voice
And bade him leave the pan and stoke the arch:
'O fireman, give the fire another stoke,
And send more sparks up chimney with the smoke.'
I thought a few might tangle, as they did,
Among bare maple boughs, and in the rare
Hill atmosphere not cease to glow,
And so be added to the moon up there.
The moon, though slight, was moon enough to show
On every tree a bucket with a lid,
And on black ground a bear-skin rug of snow.
The sparks made no attempt to be the moon.
They were content to figure in the trees
As Leo, Orion, and the Pleiades.
And that was what the boughs were full of soon.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Monday, February 10, 2014

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  • Rookie Tom Hoffelder (2/8/2014 12:42:00 PM)

    When I was 12 (a long time ago) my dad and I began making syrup with his father-in-law (yes, my grandfather) in northern Indiana. The sugar-house was in my grandfather's woods, where we would work late into the night, and the stars were very evident as there was no other light. Therefore this poem enkindles (pun intended) beautiful, poignant, vivid memories of those days. The march at the end of the first line should be March. It is after all the month of March, when the temperatures are usually right for maple sap to flow, and my copy in the book I have of Frost poems has it upper case. Nevertheless, many thanks for allowing the world to read this poem which imparts the experience of seeing something very rare. (The thing Frost omitted was the marvelous aroma of boiling maple sap, which I'm sure he also experienced, but this poem is visual.) (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 6,689 Points * Sunprincess * (10/26/2012 6:38:00 PM)

    Wow this was one snowy evening in march, so glad he had
    a fire..sure those sparks were a sight to see..fabulous! .. :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Amy Dotts (6/12/2006 10:37:00 PM)

    the rythem and dance of the fire in the night raising up to the sky makes me feel calm. (Report) Reply

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