Robert Frost

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

An Old Man's Winter Night

Poem by Robert Frost

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man -- one man -- can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.

Comments about An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost

  • Tom Revitt (11/16/2018 5:16:00 PM)

    A light he was to no one but himself Wow. What a line. A whole poem in that. Frost's best lines are as hard and round as a marble.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Chandan DeyChandan Dey (8/25/2018 3:25:00 PM)

    it's a wonderful poem of Robert Frost. The emptiness arising out of the loneliness of an old man is touchingly expressed in this poem. Thanks for posting.

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (8/25/2018 8:10:00 AM)

    Sad reality of old age more and more people are experiencing.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Charle Teal (8/25/2018 3:38:00 AM)


    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (8/25/2018 1:34:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem with nice theme. Every line is interesting to read.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • A Wonderful Poem (8/25/2018 1:15:00 AM)

    Every stanza stands out.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Douglas Scotney (8/25/2018 1:04:00 AM)

    May the moon my icicles keep too.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • John Shit (10/26/2016 2:09:00 PM)

    I'm gay! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !Already ReportedReply

    Lack Of Survellance(8/25/2018 1:14:00 AM)

    Why would these comments not be removed? Over two years' old.

    Lord Of The Rings(8/25/2018 1:12:00 AM)

    You both deserve a long stint in.

    Jesus The Lord Himself(4/26/2017 10:36:00 AM)

    Gay people go against my religion. Please tell me your address and phone number so I can cleanse you from this world. Refusing orders will cause you a long bitter painful death in hell while Satan is stepping on your balls.

    10 person liked.
    32 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (3/22/2016 1:40:00 PM)

    From the moment we are born we edge to the time we become a forgetful old man who is tied to the present in his hands, his old gnarled hands and he wonders when those hands once young grew so old(Report)Reply

    33 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/26/2014 3:02:00 AM)

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

    John Shit(10/26/2016 2:10:00 PM)

    oh, Oh, OHHHH

    17 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (10/25/2012 11:50:00 PM)

    I could feel the aloneness of the old man with his forgetfulness
    and the icy cold winter night..just hope the fire doesn't go out
    before he awakes..fabulous write.. :)(Report)Reply

    27 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • Hira Ali (7/8/2008 3:55:00 AM)

    Presently i am student of master's in literatue.I read this poem and Robert Frost has beautifuly compared clouds, moon and nature is eminent in this poem.Lonliness and process of aging and one's responsibilities are well portrayted.At last i would like to say that one was born alone and will remain alone for the whole the whole of life.(Report)Reply

    26 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: loss, moon, winter, snow, house, light, night, sun, sleep, tree, remember, star

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003