DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

December 26, 2013

Editorial: 'Christmas Trees'

Poet Robert Frost has a special place in residents’ heart. He lived on a small farm here from 1900 to 1911, and taught at Pinkerton Academy for six years.

In his poem “Christmas Trees: A Christmas Circular Letter,” written in 1920, Frost describes an encounter between a country resident and city dweller, and the significance of one man’s trees.

Once again, this year, we offer Frost’s poem to you in place of our usual editorial.

The city had withdrawn into itself

And left at last the country to the country;

When between whirls of snow not come to lie

And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove

A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,

Yet did in country fashion in that there

He sat and waited till he drew us out

A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.

He proved to be the city come again

To look for something it had left behind

And could not do without and keep its Christmas.

He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;

My woods — the young fir balsams like a place

Where houses all are churches and have spires.

I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.

I doubt if I was tempted for a moment

To sell them off their feet to go in cars

And leave the slope behind the house all bare,

Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.

I’d hate to have them know it if I was.

Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except

As others hold theirs or refuse for them,

Beyond the time of profitable growth,

The trial by market everything must come to.

I dallied so much with the thought of selling.

Then whether from mistaken courtesy

And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether

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