Frost Quotes

Best-loved lines from Frost

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.
- Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
- The Road Not Taken

The best way out is always through.
- A Servant to Servants

Ah, when to the heart of man was it ever less than a treason to go with the drift of things to yield with a grace to reason and bow and accept at the end of a love or a season.
- Acceptance

Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favour.
- The Black Cottage

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
- The Death of the Hired Man

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.
- Preface to Collected Poems (1939)

A poem…begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
- Letter to Louis Untermeyer

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
- Preface to Collected Poems (1939)

I never dared be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.
- Ten Mills, A Further Range

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.
- In the Clearing

We love the things we love for what they are.
- Hyla Brook

Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
- Birches

And were an epitaph to be my story, I’d have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
- The Lesson for Today

We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- The Secret Sits

A poet never takes notes. You never take notes in a love affair.
- BBC Interview

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee. And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.
- In the Clearing

You don’t have to deserve your mother’s love. You have to deserve your father’s. He’s more particular…. The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother’s always a Democrat.
- Interview

The world has room to make a bear feel free; The universe seems cramped to you and me.
- The Bear

Good fences make good neighbours.
- Mending wall

A man must partly give up being a man with womenfolk.
- Home Burial

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting…. Read it a hundred times; it will forever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance. It can never lose its sense of a meaning that once unfolded by surprise as it went.”
- The Figure a Poem Makes. Preface to Collected Poems

The greatest thing in family life is to take a hint when a hint is intended—and not to take a hint when a hint isn’t intended
- Comment

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
- Address

Take care to sell your horse before he dies. The art of life is passing losses on.
- “The Ingenuities of Debt” in The Poetry of Robert Frost

The greatest thing in family life is to take a hint when a hint is intended—and not to take a hint when a hint isn’t intended.
- Quoted in Vogue 15 Mar 63

I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed.
- Wall Street Journal 5 Aug 69

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew.
- Writing a poem is discovering. NY Times 7 Nov 55

Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.
- NY Post 18 May 58

I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn.
- Quoted in Daniel Smythe ed Robert Frost Speaks

Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.
- Vogue 15 Mar 63

Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes the pressure off the second.
- Vogue 15 Mar 63

A poet never takes notes. You never take notes in a love affair.
- Quoted in Edward Connery Lathem ed Interviews with Robert Frost.



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