the need of being versed in country things

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The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh        15
From too much dwelling on what has been.

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.        20

For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe the phoebes wept.

--Robert Frost's "The Need of Being Versed In Country Things. "

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Often in my visits to farmhouse ruins, I find myself meditating on these words by Robert Frost. It's too easy for me to fall prey to romanticism, to look at decaying homes and feel a melancholy ache for them. Frost's words remind me what a narrow and human-centric view that is, however; for as these old houses decay and sink back into the earth, Nature is simply reclaiming what's rightfully hers. In the Springtime especially, they burst with vitality... the songbirds rebuild their nests in rotting rafters, chipmunks emerge from slumber behind walls and mouldering sofas, while the new vines and wildflowers venture up against this makeshift arbor. I felt so rejuvenated and fresh myself as I listened to the drip-drip-drip of melting ice upon buckling floorboards in this hillside Italianate manor. This house must've been lovely to us once, but now it's lovelier to the wild things :)

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 And if you'd like to get a better look at the house,  I have many more pictures here!
It's a fascinating place, very far gone in decay but rife with period charm.

I'll leave you with a snapshot from my car.
No snow here... looks like Spring has found us in the Green Mountains!! :)
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  1. Such bitter sweet beauty, that last shot you took from your car could be turned into a painting. I love seeing the way nature takes over after we leave. One of my somewhat morbid obsessions is looking at Chernobyl. It's so interesting to look at the abandoned city and see how it's transforming as nature takes it back, trees growing in living rooms and deer and wild horses roaming the streets.

  2. Such beautiful words, and the house is gorgeous I can't help but feel saddened every beautiful building I see go to ruin, usually because they are replaced by a supermarket where I live! You look lovely as always xxx

  3. Simply perfect pairing of words for an aged, beautiful, history rich setting like this. That has always been one of my all-time favourite Frost poems, too.

    ♥ Jessica

  4. Super beautiful www.adoamehitabel.blogspot.co.uk

  5. :-)
    i live in an old railroadhouse (ca. 1885). it stands between forest and river/wetland. and we have this little blind passengers: birds, mice, squirrels, bugs............
    you are never alone in this house ;-)
    love old houses!

  6. Harlow, I entirely share your fascination with Chernobyl!! It used to terrify me as a kid, but now I pore over photographs of it!

    Thank you Hannah, and that's simply the worst, when beautiful old buildings are torn down in favor of ugly new ones :`(

    Thanks, Jessica :)

    Beate,, an old railroad house, wow! What an incredibly neat place to live!!! I know it's strange, but I love finding little critters in my house; hearing mice in the walls at night is oddly comforting!

    1. switch to my blog - there are pictures of the house :-)

  7. I love the Robert Frost poem, so haunting. What an amazing, eerie place captured beautifully by your photographs. p.s. love that handbag!

  8. I'd love to live in such a beautiful place as you! I could do worse than a semi-rural English suburb, but it's my dream to live somewhere like that! The last photograph is so lovely, it looks a setting from a 1950s movie.

    Beate, that sounds lovely!

  9. Ahh this post is lovely. I love how you incorporate poetry and literature into your blog. Whole suburbs of my hometown are now abandoned because of awful earthquakes a couple of years ago. I wonder if they will look like this in 50 years.


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