Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers

This past week, Helen Howe, an old friend of the library passed away at the age of 100 years.  Many of us remember her as the driving force behind the volunteer library that began in the basement of the police station, and eventually moved into the Altona Mall.  She and a group of dedicated volunteers ran the library until it joined the South Central Regional in 1988.  I wanted this week’s OFF THE SHELF to honour Helen.

I chose the book, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  The text is the well known poem by Robert Frost, and this book is illustrated by Susan Jeffers.  The poem begins,

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village, though; 
He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow. 

The poem is a reminder of a simpler time and a slower pace. I especially enjoy the final lines,

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep

The copy currently in the library has beautiful colour illustrations.  I remember an older version of this book by the same artist in which the same illustrations were black and white.  It was my favourite book in that old volunteer library, and I’m sure one that Helen enjoyed as well.

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