Although he was an American poet, it has been said that this poem was inspired by his time in the countryside in and around Buckinghamshire, England. It was written when living in New England in June 1922 – further info on Wikipedia here. It was reported recently that this poem is one of the most requested on BBC Radio 4’s “Poetry Please”.

I suppose the attraction of this poem is that it the idea of stopping just to watch the snow evokes a notion of winter that is comfortable and romantic. Until you actually let the last verse sink in: the rider still has a long journey ahead of him. Advent speaks of other journeys too: think of the Wise Men crossing countries, Shepherds going into town, Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem, thence to Egypt and back to Galilee. And I suppose waiting for Christmas Day could be construed as a journey through Advent.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

We might spare a thought for those who are having to travel during this busy season and are having an uncomfortable time of it.