The Poets

August 19, 2010

Nature's First Green is Gold

Remember the movie The Outsiders? If you haven't watched it you're missing out on an excellent early 80s classic. It's about the inevitable clash between two rival gangs, the inadvertent killing of one of their members, the self-exilation of the two young boys who committed the killing, and their need to reconcile the wrong done.

I was thinking of the film recently and remembered there was a scene in the movie where a Robert Frost poem was quoted (I love it when poets are quoted or referred to in movies- philosophers too). The poem, called Nothing Gold Can Stay, was written by Frost in 1923 and was added to his most prized collection of poetry, New Hampshire. It's simple, yet radically profound, one of his shortest poems, and his only one done in trimeter. Check it out.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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.

Remember that! They set this scene up so perfectly that it even aligned with the point of Frost's poem; namely, that the manifestation of purity and beauty sadly persists with us too short a time.


Kendra Lise said...

I love Robert Frost! This is one of the first poems I ever memorized (prompted by an English teacher I am grateful to have had).
The words to this poem often float into my head - sometimes in the simple, literal way during season change and sometimes in the more complex, metaphorical sense when I am reminded of the fleeting qualities life has.

lukepraterswordsalad said...

Nice blog bro... I like that you're into the old poets and old forms... so many persent-day poets just wanna do blank-verse and free-verse that borders on porse-poetry... personally I write in all styles, but I have a passion for some of the old ones (but enjoy using modern language in them- the villanelle is a particular favourite of mine.

Cheers bro


Vivian said...

Thank you for posting this scene....we must keep poetry alive.

hey luke....I too am fond of the villanelle.

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