Thursday, August 19, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday- Robert Frost and the Tree at his Window

Yesterday, I wrote a post here showing an unusual object. When I asked if anyone could guess what it was, reader Carol left the closest guess of "historic tree" under the comments.

When Robert Frost lived at his farmhouse on Rt. 28 in Derry, there was a sugar maple outside his kitchen window. He wrote a poem about it as he sat at the kitchen table. Over time the tree grew very large, and threatened the roof of the house. After the winter of 2006, a limb fell and arborists discovered a rotten trunk. In September 2007 it was cut down, at a ceremony attended by Frost family descendants, admirers of his poetry, and curious townspeople. A new maple was planted in its place.

When I visit the Frost farm, I pause at the pasture or by the stone walls and think “Is this the field from the Pasture poem?” or “Is this the stonewall from that poem?” Even driving around town I wonder which road was “less traveled” or which woods he was “stopping by on a snowy evening”? It's interesting to think that so many of these landmarks still survive around Derry.

The wood from the tree was divided up amongst several local wood carvers and artisans, to make bowls, boards, boxes and little wooden trees to be sold as a fund-raiser for the Frost Farm. Of course, at my recent visit to the Frost Farm, I saw these wooden crafted items and couldn’t resist. Now I own a piece of local and literary history. You can read about my visit at this post

I hid a little copy of the poem in the hidden drawer. I'm sure that Robert Frost would approve.

Tree at My Window

By Robert Frost

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

For more information my first blog post about Robert Frost, including his Frost lineage. He is also a Mayflower descendant!

Lawrence Eagle Tribune, September 30, 2007, “Robert Frost Tree Felled to Protect Historic Farm”, by Eric Parry, wooden pens made from the historic Frost tree

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, October 7, 2007, “The Tree at his Window”, by David M. Shribman,

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. A poem in a little "secret box" made from history. Lovely and better than I guessed :-)

  2. OOOOO, love the REST of the story. Guess my guesser was working that day! LOL

    Love what you did with it, and still love that violet!