Gathering Leaves – a Pocket Poem by Robert Frost

Great poets have the ability to examine the mundane and the humble and transform it into poignancy. They take the time to unearth the meaning, the purpose, the treasure located in daily tasks. Here’s what happens when Robert Frost rakes leaves. I’m about to start raking this week. If you are too, perhaps you can also see this task with new eyes through Frost’s poetic sight.

Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves

No better than spoons,

And bags full of leaves

Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise

Of rustling all day

Like rabbit and deer

Running away.

But the mountains I raise

Elude my embrace,

Flowing over my arms

And into my face.

I may load and unload

Again and again

Till I fill the whole shed,

And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,

And since they grew duller

From contact with earth,

Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.

But a crop is a crop,

And who’s to say where

The harvest shall stop?

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