An editor once called some of my early fiction "blue jeans prose" and I liked the term. I sometimes describe my own novels as stories about ordinary people caught up in often extraordinary circumstances.

"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." 
-  Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

An editor once called some of my early fiction "blue jeans prose" and I liked the term. I sometimes describe my own novels as stories about ordinary people caught up in often extraordinary circumstances.
Although I'm a eclectic reader and read a wide variety of novels, I prefer to read about regular folks. I seldom write about the rich or famous and if I do, it's someone like my heroine in Urban Renewal. Although my heroine is known as a movie star with the screen name Mercedes Montague, my story is about her journey back to her humble beginnings and her own name, Marie Dillard.
Although I've written some poetry, particularly in my youth, I don't consider myself a poet.
Robert Frost, however, is both a poet and one of my favorite poets.
He's known for his realistic portrayal of rural life in New England and his use of colloquial language. Although Frost spent his first 11 years of his life in California, his family relocated to New England after his father's death. Frost had family ties in the region and adapted.
His poems are often described as lyrical and although on the surface they seem simplistic, his lines actually deliver often profound messages. On the surface, his poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening describes a quiet, snow-filled evening in a rural setting, a lone man and a single horse contemplating the drifting snow.
But when pondering the lines, another message comes through and the theme is about choosing life or death.  The lines "but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep" indicate life and a conscious decision.  In the literary world, sleep is often a euphemism for death.
Another of Frost's poems, The Road Not Taken, has often been referred to as his best known. Although Frost's description evokes a wood and two roads, the poem is about life paths. The final stanza of the poem seems autobiographical:
shall be telling this with a sigh
"Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
Frost chose the road less traveled by although through his poetry he touched the world.
I've always savored his poetry for the language and the imagery he evokes. He also makes the reader think a little and I like that too.
In one of my college literature courses, 20th century Poetry, we were studying Frost. My professor talked about how easy it is to read and retain Frost's poetry. He called on me to recite 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' and I did. In the first moments, I was uncertain and thought I would probably fail but I managed to speak all the lines.
The weather this winter has been unpredictable and since I often write my columns a little ahead, I can't be sure how much snow the area may have received by now. We have had our first snow, a light dusting that was pretty while it lasted.. Although I love the soft, white pristine beauty of a good snowfall, I consider snow to be a four-lettered word. Unless I have the luxury to stay home and watch through the windows as the snowflakes fall, I would rather it not snow. I don't want to dig out and I don't enjoy drive on slick streets.
Reading Frost's words about snow are enough for me.


Lee Ann Murphy is a staff writer and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.