It was just one of those nights.
There wasn’t much on TV and I was too tired to pick up a Redbox movie. Going through the channel line up one more time I finally stumbled upon the 1983 movie, “The Outsiders”.
I’d seen the movie before but decided to give it a repeat.
The movie is primarily about two poor greasers, Johnny (played by Ralph Macchio), and Ponyboy (played by C. Thomas Howell). After the Socs (a rival gang) nearly drown Ponyboy in a fountain, a terrified Johnny stabs Bob a Socs, accidentally killing him. Ponyboy and Johnny find their friend Dallas, who gives them money and a loaded gun and tells them to hide in an abandoned church.
They stay there for a few days, during which time Ponyboy, a poet and writer at heart reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny and recites the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by the American poet Robert Frost.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay”, is a short and simple poem, but one with profound depth and meaning. Although it’s recitation by Ponyboy stood in stark contrast to the violence and sadness of the movie, it was by far the most important statement the movie made and one I thought worth sharing.
So here it is, Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
There is something special about hearing the poem within the context of the movie so take a look at the video as Ponyboy recites it. Go ahead… it’s worth it.
Robert Frost’s writing is one of America’s greatest treasures and if you enjoyed this poem you will enjoy his many others. I recommend the following book to introduce you to one of the finest poets ever to live.
This book is the only comprehensive volume of Robert Frost’s published verse; in it are all eleven of his individual books of poetry-from A Boy’s Will (1913) to In the Clearing (1962). The editor of the book, Edward Connery Lathem, has carefully annotated the more than 350 poems included.
If you know Robert Frost already this book will help you know him better, if not, you certainly will have a greater appreciation for his work after reading this impressive volume.
Let me know your thoughts on “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost or the movie “The Outsiders”. Leave a comment.
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