I could do this exercise comprised almost entirely of Robert Frost poems. His work speaks to me in a way that few others’ do. While I may return to the well one more time after this, today’s selection has stuck with me over the years. While poems like “Mending Wall”, “Acquainted with the Night”, and “The Road Not Taken” are all masterful, they have a seriousness to them. Often profound and philosophical, the rich meaning behind the verse is what makes them classics.

“A Peck of Gold” is in another style that Frost often takes up. Not quite as light-hearted as some, it is still a reflection on childlike wonder. Despite the association with rural America, he spent the first 9 years of his life in San Francisco. This poem quickly captures the allure and magic of what they must have been like for him, and how he reflected back on it later in life.

The final stanza begins with a different tone, almost conversational. It is warm, charming, and the last line is pure Robert. That last line always sticks with me long after reading it for some reason. It is an enigmatic, artisanally crafted, and you can almost see the smirk on the old man’s face.


A Peck of Gold

Dust always blowing about the town,
Except when sea-fog laid it down,
And I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.

All the dust the wind blew high
Appeared like god in the sunset sky,
But I was one of the children told
Some of the dust was really gold.

Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
‘We all must eat our peck of gold.’


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