The Silken Tent – Robert Frost

THE SILKEN TENT

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when a sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all the ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe nought to any single cord,
But strictly held by none is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To everything on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Here is a fine example of the English sonnet by Robert Frost that takes my fancy. Iambic Pentameter with structure abab cdcd efef for the three quatrains and then the rhyming summary couplet

The opening line although a little cumbersome is perhaps ‘as good as’ … she walks in beauty like the night (Byron)

Interesting word used ‘guys‘ a double take in today’s usage that happens to fit the theme of the sonnet.

… what a wonderful way to walk the world … being special, gentle, at ease with life, and bonded to all in a loose sort of way in love and thought connected … by countless silken ties of love and thought

… and of more importance tied by a strong spiritual sense … not dependent on any one alone but everyone giving something to hold her in place to a heavenly position (to the central cedar pole) … and this heavenly connection making her effective in coverage … making the person effective in life as well as making the tent usable … imagine a sagging tent without an upright central pole

… I really like the suggested ambience in the closing couplet … and the word capricious = fanciful, unpredictable … quite fitting … moving freely in the lightness of a summer breeze – and only by going slightly taught does she (or indeed we) become aware of that heavenly connection that binds – always subtle, always latent

Here is a link to Robert Frost on Wikipedia

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