The Importance of Friendship: “A Time to Talk” by Robert Frost

A Time to Talk by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Robert Frost creates a wonderful picture of our devotion to work.   It’s an image of hard, sweat inducing labor, in which we are reluctant to stop the momentum of producing on a farm.


As we look to a modern day context in our cities, what are we relentlessly devoted to?  Will we interrupt the flow of getting through our emails, to share a meaningful moment?  computer

In a year, will you remember that email you had to get back to…


Or will you remember this:   You stopped what you were doing.  You devoted your full focus to your friend.  It is a loving person who has stopped by to say hello.   Doesn’t love deserve your attention?


When you look back, you will want to remember:




desk stress

Choose Your Friend.

“Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Robert Frost (1874-1963) was a highly-regarded poet known for his depiction of rural life.  He published his first poem in high school.  He attended Harvard but did not graduate due to illness; he received an honorary degree from Harvard posthumously, as well as more than 40 other honorary degrees.  Though Frost grew up in the city, he lived on farms later in his life.  He was a professor at Amherst College, and at Middlebury College for 42 years.  Some of his best-known poems include “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American writer, lecturer and poet.  He was a leader in the Transcendentalist movement, and a founder of the Transcendental Club, which included members such as Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott.  Transcendentalism emphasized the importance of individuality, and the presence of the divine in all things.  Among Emerson’s most famous writings are his essay, “Nature,” and his book, Self-Reliance.  Emerson and his wife, Lydia, had four children, including Edward Waldo Emerson who published writing on both his father and Henry David Thoreau.


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