(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

A Diamond Or A Coal?

A diamond or a coal?
A diamond, if you please:
Who cares about a clumsy coal
Beneath the summer trees?
A diamond or a coal?
A coal, sir, if you please:
One comes to care about the coal
What time the waters freeze.

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Comments (3)

Frost used to appear regularly for readings at Boston College. At the end of this one, he would look up and say, And I always like to add, '...or somebody else will provide for ya! '
...........wonderful poem....the last line is brilliant ★
Frost's poem is a reminder that life can be harsh and fate unforgiving. Beauty passes in a flash -don't bank on it because it is not going to last (verse 1.) The 'great and the good' are also likely to be afflicted by misfortune (verse 2.) The fourth verse might have been adopted as a credo by today's crooked financeers.Good luck, President Obama, in sorting them out, because you will need it. In the next more optimistic verse the key word is 'might.' Beauty and fame, like all rewards, are transitory, and the last verse brings this home in no uncertain a fashion. Is Frost in this atypical poem being cynical? I think not!