You are constantly underestimated in comparison to Eliot and Pound, probably because everyone thinks you departed from nineteenth-century techniques insufficiently, or because you forgot to fling a lot of untranslated Italian and unnecessary canto divisions into your work.
A hard, flinty Yankee woman responds to your death with indifference. She is washing something near an apple tree. The apple tree is also indifferent.
You’re somehow overlooked in plain sight; everyone knows of you but not enough people understand you. This is probably just a sign that you are Robert Frost.
You have learned an important lesson about neighborliness. The lesson is that death is coming so soon, my God, why did no one tell me? Gentle, now.
You started out by raking leaves but now I’m crying.
EVERYTHING IS SO WISTFUL AND RESTRAINED AND I JUST WANT TO TIME TRAVEL A HUNDRED YEARS AGO AND HUG EVERYBODY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE OR SOMETHING
You’re cursed. God, but if you don’t believe you’re cursed.
You have no pride in claiming kinship!
You tried to travel close to death with a friend, and made pretense of following him to the grave, but you turned before he was half-way in it. What’s his grave to you!
You started out apple-picking but now I’m crying.
Nothing ever turned out quite right under your hand, nothing ever grew at your guidance, no harvest ever came in under your direction, and now a night with no moon is coming.
Everyone is straight-up getting mangled by farming equipment, but none of you have any time to care about any deaths other than your own!
If you just had another chance, you could teach that college boy how to build a load of hay, a real one –
You don’t have another chance.
Everyone is dead, but you’ve got pruning to do.
You leave some gentle farming instructions to some trees or an old fence or like, a hopeful peony near a chicken, followed by some variation on “I’ll be back later,” and then I just fucking lose it, Robert.
Your business awhile is with different trees.
You’ve burned your house down for the fire insurance and spent every penny on a blamed telescope. (After such loose talk it was no surprise when you did what you did and burned your house down.)
A crow has given you back a part of the day you thought you’d lost.
The time is neither wrong nor right. A woman on the stairs is doing her best not to answer you.
Three foggy mornings and one rainy day will rot the best birch fence a man can build, and you’ve just built a birch fence with your own two hands.
At bottom, the world isn’t a joke.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.