And once again, Robert Frost pours us his poetic potion with another of his best-loved classics. (Robert will grace us again later in the list.) “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” grips the reader and holds their attention throughout and the repetition on the final lines is ingrained on their hearts and minds. One of my favorite pieces (of the many favorites), this piece comes in at #19.

Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

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


  1. Stopping by Woods is one of my favorite poems, second only to Keats’s To Autumn, I think. It sticks with me mainly because of its sounds and the line,'”promises to keep.”

    tour comment raises a question for me, Walt, and I’d like to know if I am missing something in current English grammar. You mention that the poem “grips the (one) reader and holds their (more than one) attention.” I am seeing this more and more, and I wonder if it is an accepted way of avoiding “his or her” when speaking of attention, in this case. It always strikes me as wrong because the numbers (singular and plural) don’t agree, but maybe this is yet another change in accepted English grammar, and I simply have not gotten used to it. Anyway, I’d like to know your opinion, and those of others.

    • I can’t help but giggle, William. I often use a “singular they,” just like my partner here. It’s most definitely considered grammatically incorrect. Yet, it has been used in this manner historically, and by many. Since English offers no grammatically correct singular pronoun that covers both genders, I have a strong feeling it will be deemed grammatically correct in the somewhat near future. My own humble opinion is that I would like it to be acceptable. 😉

      Interesting discussion!

  2. Oh, Marie Elena, I couldn’t agree more! I liked it well enough to buy it as a picture book for my childlren (when they weren’t childlren any more and I rarely bought poetry(. I was born in New Hampshire so I feel a special affinity to Frost. It was one of the first poems that opened my ears to what could be done with rhythm and rhyme and which I memorized without intending to. I wonder what prompted this poem?

    And perchance some of the poetry appearing on our pages could be as memorable if read by a wide audience? I don’t know. I don’t know his magic, I just know his words stick with me.

  3. This poem was my probably 4th or 5th grade introduction to Robert Frost, who I fell in love with at the moment. Of course we were required to memorize it and the words for this Southern boy, who had seen so few rare snowy winters, were and enchantment, a place I could imagine only through this master’s words.
    And then, The Road Not Taken, and then Mending Fences. Well, I was taken by Mr. Frost then and still am today.
    I will never forget the moment as a teenager, I read one of his poems I’d never known, in a Good Housekeeping magazine of all places: Once By the Pacific. I remember the overwhelming awe I felt from such few simple lines, and prayed I could write that way someday. Still trying.

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