Sunday, May 29, 2011

From Robert Frost to William F. Nolan to Chris Cunningham

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

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.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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 above poem was also the inspiration for one of the best science fiction short stories ever written. I am referring to William Nollan’s “And miles to go before I sleep”, written in 1958. It is well worth seeking out in old, weathered and torn science fiction anthologies. 

The story has also appeared in a comic book form adaptation, but reading the three or four original pages, take Frost's poem very literally to another time and dimension.

It manages to convey the same feeling of sweet-warm melancholy as the poem. And this contrast between warm and cold, of appearances and being torn by constraints and obligations, feels like describing a kind of robot love. Just as in the sublime video clip for one of Bjork's best songs "All is full of love",  directed by Chris Cunningham in 1999:

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