My Rhysling eligible poems for 2018

The Rhysling awards nomination period is running from January 1 to February 15. I’ve got a few poems from the previous year that are eligible:

My favorite of these is Goodnight. My second favorite is first date.

Please consider my poems for nomination! Thanks very much!

Publication in Abyss & Apex


My collection of very short poems, ‘spatial arrangement‘, was just published in Abyss & Apex, where it is available online to read for free. Each poem represents notable objects in our solar system, beginning at the sun and moving outwards through all the planets (also including the moon, Pluto, “planet x”, and beyond). Check it out if you have a minute!


“Stopping by Woods” is about Santa Claus

For this Christmas blog post, I would like to suggest that the famous poem by Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, is actually about Santa Claus.


Let’s take a look at the poem before we analyze it:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

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.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Who is this strange man who has stopped in someone else’s woods at night, on a snowy evening? What are all these promises he has to keep? Why so many miles to travel?

The “darkest evening of the year” would be the 21st of December. But perhaps Frost has taken some liberties here. “The third darkest evening of the year” doesn’t quite fit in the established meter, and isn’t quite as neat.

The harness bells evoke a reindeer, and the animal appears in a stanza rhyming on queer/near/year. Is “reindeer” being playfully implied by rhyme?

In the third stanza, the animal is asking about a mistake, which the speaker has stopped in the woods to check. He is checking the list (a second time).

The opening stanza introduces our speaker, and it rhymes on know/though/snow. Playfully implying “ho-ho-ho” through rhyme?

This is a poem about Santa Claus.