Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

A Brook In The City - Poem by Robert Frost

The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear
A number in. But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run --
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under,
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.

Comments about A Brook In The City by Robert Frost

  • Rogelio Guillermo (10/26/2017 1:15:00 PM)

    building a new road is a big undertaking.... well done. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (9/19/2015 10:40:00 AM)

    .........this is very sad both the brook and apple trees
    were destroyed...two life giving sources..shame on
    those who did this ★
    (Report) Reply

  • Mark Arvizu (2/11/2015 9:22:00 AM)

    The river still runs............... (Report) Reply

  • Akanksha Bhatt (6/4/2014 7:19:00 AM)

    this is really a good poem.. I like it.. (Report) Reply

  • Francis Lynch (5/26/2014 9:42:00 PM)

    Man, what a gloomy poem. Not a lot for us to look forward to, I concur. (Report) Reply

  • (5/20/2014 5:07:00 AM)

    that's a fantastic piece of poetry! (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Fuzan (4/27/2014 8:59:00 AM)

    This us really good (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 2:50:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

  • Captain Herbert Poetry (4/24/2014 9:33:00 PM)

    A wonderful masterpiece from the Master (Report) Reply

  • Awa Bah (4/8/2014 5:15:00 PM)

    This is my favorite poem (Report) Reply

  • (3/27/2014 7:39:00 AM)

    HAPPY LATE 140TH BIRTHDAY! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Biplab Singha (3/26/2014 8:59:00 AM)

    Nice poem my friend. I have got something new from youe poem to write.
    Happy Birthday!
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/8/2013 3:23:00 PM)

    Frost's A Brook in the City is not about the Nazi holocaust. If one has strong connections to and/or empathy to the holocaust victims of WWII, they are of course free to relate to the poem that way. However, my personal goal is to understand as much as possible what an author's original intent, and Frost could not have meant the holocaust because (as one commentator noted) this poem was written in 1924: before Hitler's rise to power and WWII and the holocaust. I really like this poem because I too love nature and lament how we moderns can so pursue progress that we fail to note its costs to the natural world as well as (perhaps) more human-connected ways of life. Only those who live through such transitions even know, for example, that there was once something like a farmhouse or brook where now are only concrete canyons and sewage systems, malls, car-choked streets and the like. Those generations that grow up after the fact cannot imagine any other world, and may not like when the older set laments where things are headed. But in fact there were worlds different from this one, and this one may not be the better one. (Report) Reply

  • Anver The Dead Metalhead (7/8/2012 12:10:00 PM)

    i'm speechless this is master piece (Report) Reply

  • (1/1/2010 4:35:00 PM)

    Wow you all got pretty riled up about Dimitri's interesting interpretation. However the poem was first published in a 1924 collection, pre-dating the camps. I think it really may be about a brook being polluted and buried by city growth. But Dimitri, your interpretation will haunt me.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/22/2009 10:01:00 PM)

    Hey Adolf-I wish it was your family getting killed you prick
    Jake-Yours too
    You people have no respect
    How do you hate on Jews because we're prosperous and wealthy?
    You have no one else to blame but yourselves for being bitter failures.
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/24/2009 12:45:00 PM)

    I completely agree with you Mr. Hitler, I remember those days, all those jews that died cause they were stupid fags (Report) Reply

  • (5/25/2009 8:51:00 PM)

    I find the depth of Frost's poems in the fact that it seems to me that he is at the same time referring very observing a very natural event in New England farm life, an observation on our relationship with the wild and old ways, and alluding to our relationship with that which is wild and and natural in our own souls and psyches. How we age, what we fear, how we relate to death and other people. Each poem can be read quite well in any of these ways. (Report) Reply

  • (2/24/2009 2:38:00 PM)

    This poem can be read alongside Hyla Brook as a fine example of Frost's empathy with nature, which we exploit at our cost. As always, Frost was way ahead of his time. (Report) Reply

  • (7/4/2008 2:25:00 PM)

    I love this poem. Rather than speaking of the Holocaust, I believe that it speaks of the power and strength of living an authentic life not ruled by fear. The metaphor of a constant stream of true self which underlies cement walks of civilization which would keep us from our true destiny is one that I find very compelling. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: city, water, flower, strength, house, work, sleep, fear, running, rose, tree

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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