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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday: In recognition of International Friendship Day...

Tomorrow, July 30, is recognized as International Friendship Day by proclamation of the United Nations General Assembly, which marked the date in 2011 "with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities."

Let's mark the occasion with a poem that reminds us that when a friend calls, we ought well to stop what we're doing -- hoeing the field, for instance -- and share our time.

Robert Frost, from the archives of LIFE magazine, November 24, 1952.
Robert Frost, LIFE magazine, November 24, 1952.

"A Time to Talk" by Robert Frost was first published in 1916 in his collection Mountain Interval. His third volume, it features 31 poems, including "The Road Not Taken," "Birches," and "Out, Out—."

Born in San Francisco in 1874, Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and his poems were recognized with four Pulitzer Prize awards. He died January 29, 1963 in Boston. He is buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont, a short drive from Albany. Frost's gravestone bears the inscription, “I had a lover's quarrel with the world.”

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.

From Mountain Interval, first published, 1916


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