Stopping by on a snowy evening, vandals trash Robert Frost’s home

I was saddened to see that the historic Robert Frost home in Vermont was the scene of an underage drinking party and that dozens of items were destroyed, some of which may have been used by the poet himself and his family when they summered there. The extent of the damage is appalling:

The intruders broke a window to get into the two-story wood frame building _ a furnished residence open in the summer _ before destroying tables and chairs, pictures, windows, light fixtures, and dishes. Wicker furniture and dressers were smashed and thrown into a fireplace and burned, apparently to provide heat in the unheated building. http://wtop.com/?nid=114&sid=1318503#

A couple of summer’s ago my husband and I visited this place, Robert Frost’s summer home. It is located on a two lane road, down a long driveway, nestled in trees. One cannot see the house from the road in the summer through the sheltering leaves. However, in the depth of winter those trees provided no protection from intruders  searching for a party place.

It was fitting that we had a chance to linger and observe the artifacts in that spare New England clapboard during the season that Frost would have been in residence, writing some of the best-remembered American poems. The house is open for tours in the summer but closed in the harsh New England winter. It is maintained by nearby Middlebury College, where Frost taught for a few years.

The poem that is the focus of many of the displays inside the house is the well-loved one entitled “On Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” This poem and many others were written within these austere New England walls.

1Whose woods these are I think I know.
2His house is in the village though;
3He will not see me stopping here
4To watch his woods fill up with snow.

5My little horse must think it queer
6To stop without a farmhouse near
7Between the woods and frozen lake
8The darkest evening of the year.

9He gives his harness bells a shake
10To ask if there is some mistake.
11The only other sound’s the sweep
12Of easy wind and downy flake.

13The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
14But I have promises to keep,
15And miles to go before I sleep,
16And miles to go before I sleep.
I cherish the memories of that summertime visit to Robert Frost’s home — and am glad that I had the chance to experience it pretty much as Frost left it — before the modern-day vandals desecrated the white-washed interior with their alcohol-fueled exploits.

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2 Comments on “Stopping by on a snowy evening, vandals trash Robert Frost’s home”

  1. Mister Wind-up Bird Says:

    ouch!

  2. Betsy Says:

    “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offence.”
    –Mending Wall

    Well, I guess we know what was being walled out. What a shame! I’m sure they’ll increase security now.


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