Robert Frost

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

The Kitchen Chimney - Poem by Robert Frost

Builder, in building the little house,
In every way you may please yourself;
But please please me in the kitchen chimney:
Don't build me a chimney upon a shelf.

However far you must go for bricks,
Whatever they cost a-piece or a pound,
But me enough for a full-length chimney,
And build the chimney clear from the ground.

It's not that I'm greatly afraid of fire,
But I never heard of a house that throve
(And I know of one that didn't thrive)
Where the chimney started above the stove.

And I dread the ominous stain of tar
That there always is on the papered walls,
And the smell of fire drowned in rain
That there always is when the chimney's false.

A shelf's for a clock or vase or picture,
But I don't see why it should have to bear
A chimney that only would serve to remind me
Of castles I used to build in air.


Comments about The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost

  • Malabika Ray (3/25/2018 8:14:00 PM)


    Amazing! A Kitchen Chimney can inspire such a great poem! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (12/26/2016 2:02:00 PM)

    tom allport
    you can't beat getting what you want for peace of mind (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (1/27/2016 9:08:00 AM)


    Wonderful description of the place around a chimney built for burning of fire in the house as against the shelf where decorative things were kept as per tradition. Amazing poem.
    A chimney that only would serve to remind me
    Of castles I used to build in air.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016



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