Poetry Portfolio

Robert Frost


The Vantage Point (1915)

If tired of trees I seek again mankind,
Well I know where to hie me—in the dawn,
To a slope where the cattle keep the lawn.
There amid lolling juniper reclined,
Myself unseen, I see in white defined
Far off the homes of men, and farther still
The graves of men on an opposing hill,
Living or dead, whichever are to mind.

And if by noon I have too much of these,
I have but to turn on my arm, and lo,
The sunburned hillside sets my face aglow,
My breathing shakes the bluet like a breeze,
I smell the earth, I smell the bruised plant,
I look into the crater of the ant.

This poem by Robert Frost is about a man, lost in the world of humanity, seeking refuge in the vast beauty of nature. This poem fills the first category, as it is by Robert Frost. I chose it because it brings out the simplicity in natures beauty.

Robert Frost

Nothing Gold can Stay (1923)

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

This poem by Robert Frost is about the fact that all good things come to an end, and we should enjoy their beauty while they are here, for they are not too long to stay. This poem also fills the first category. I chose this poem because it is very relatable, and it shows us that we should appreciate what we have while we have it.

Acquainted with the Night (1928)

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have out-walked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right I have been one acquainted with the night.

This poem by Robert Frost is about isolation, loneliness, and depression, mainly from the authors experience. This poem also fills the first category. I chose this poem because it symbolizes the authors struggles with depression and it shows how loneliness can be depressing.

Alberto Rios


When Giving is all we Have (2014)

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

This poem by Alberto Rios is about the gift of giving. This poem fills the second category. I chose this poem because giving is always good and it is a good symbol of giving and how it can be a great thing.

Alberto Rios

When There Were Ghosts (2014)

On the Mexico side in the 1950s and 60s,

There were movie houses everywhere

And for the longest time people could smoke

As they pleased in the comfort of the theaters.

The smoke rose and the movie told itself

On the screen and in the air both,

The projection caught a little

In the wavering mist of the cigarettes.

In this way, every story was two stories

And every character lived near its ghost.

Looking up we knew what would happen next

Before it did, as if it the movie were dreaming

Itself, and we were part of it, part of the plot

Itself, and not just the audience.

And in that dream the actors’ faces bent

A little, hard to make out exactly in the smoke,

So that María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz

Looked a little like my aunt and one of my uncles—

And so they were, and so were we all in the movies,

Which is how I remember it: Popcorn in hand,

Smoke in the air, gum on the floor—

Those Saturday nights, we ourselves

Were the story and the stuff and the stars.

We ourselves were alive in the dance of the dream.

This poem by Alberto Rios is about the enjoyment of spending time doing things that make you happy, and getting carried away in activity. This poem fills the second category. I chose this poem because it is a happy poem, and it shows that we all can enjoy whatever we do, as long as we can see it in a positive way and indulge in it.

Carpe Diem (1923)

Robert Frost

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) church-ward,
He waited, (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
"Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure."
The age-long theme is Age's.
'Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being over-flooded
With happiness should have it.
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing-
Too present to imagine.

This poem by Robert Frost is about Carpe Diem, or seizing the day. This poem fills the third category. I chose this poem because it has meaning to me, and it is relatable, in the fact that the present is now, and it is too great not to enjoy. The future may hold greatness, but enjoy the present while it's here.

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