“A Patch of Old Snow” by Robert Frost


Since we have already had snow recently, and it is supposed to dip way below freezing tonight, I figured this might be appropriate to read.

There’s a patch of old snow in a corner
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I’ve forgotten—
If I ever read it.

For me, the primary metaphor here is melting snow representing the passage of time, the events of our lives melting away and soon forgotten. But what really struck me was the last line: “If I ever read it.” So much of life happens around us without our notice. We are busy with our lives, absorbed in our own thoughts, and we neglect to see events unfolding that may be significant. I try to practice mindfulness and be aware of life as it transpires around me, but then the stresses creep back in and I find myself caught up in the frenzy again.

This poem makes me feel a little sad, but it also inspires me somewhat. I can choose to slow down and read the story of world around me and make time to contemplate it, before it melts away.



Filed under Literature

4 responses to ““A Patch of Old Snow” by Robert Frost

  1. Excellent analysis of Frost’s beautiful poem… The last ending is truly powerful indeed, dear Jeff… I also liked very much the way you highlighted that the primary metaphor is melting snow representing time going by, and the events of our lives melting away and soon forgotten.
    Thanks for sharing!. All the best to you. Aquileana 😀