Stopping by the Woods for Christmas

I realize that “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” does not have any Christmas words:

But for me it is most definitely a Christmas poem–and by the way, my favorite poem bar none.

If you have seen Susan Jeffers interpretation (Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, illustrated by Susan Jeffers, Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 1978), then you know what I mean.  If you haven’t let me give you just a glimpse:

Beautiful, isn’t it?

When I was in college, we studied this poem in one of my classes and a very confident fellow student stated in no uncertain terms that this poem is about death.  I ’bout bounded out of my chair and jumped her, crying foul. She was not going to do that to my precious poem! He may be tired, but isn’t everyone who devotes himself to the happiness of others?  He wants to stop for a minute and admire the woods around him?  I’d stop too if no one was around to watch. He is tempted by the peaceful scene to hang out for a bit? I’m totally on board with that. He may not have originally been intended to be Santa Claus, but if the shoe fits, why shouldn’t he wear it?

In my world, everything can be brought around to Christmas.

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