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The Kitchen Chimney
by Robert Frost

Robert Frost's books include A Boy's Will in 1913, North of Boston in 1914, Mountain Interval in 1916, New Hampshire in 1923 (for which Frost was awarded his first Pulitzer Prize), West-Running Brook in 1928, A Further Range in 1936 (giving Frost a third Pulitzer), A Witness Tree in 1942 (becoming the first person to receive the Prize four times), A Masque of Reason in 1945, Steeple Bush in 1947, A Masque of Mercy in 1947, and In the Clearing in 1962.

Additionally, his publishers released numerous anthologies and collections, including Selected Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1923), Selected Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1928), Collected Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1930, which results in second Pulitzer in 1931), Selected Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1934), Selected Poems (London: Jonathan Cape, 1936), Collected Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1939), The Poems (New York: Modern Library, 1946), Complete Poems (New York: Henry Holt, 1949), Aforesaid (New York: Henry Holt, 1954), Selected Poems (London: Penguin Books, 1955), and Selected Poems (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963).

Robert Frost's earliest work is now in the public domain, but all of his latter work remains under copyright protection and cannot be reproduced with permission.


1923 New Hampshire
The Kitchen Chimney
by Robert Frost

Builder, in building the little house,
In every way you may please yourself;
But please please me in the kitchen chimney:
Don't build me a chimney upon a shelf.

However far you must go for bricks,
Whatever they cost a-piece or a pound,
But me enough for a full-length chimney,
And build the chimney clear from the ground.

It's not that I'm greatly afraid of fire,
But I never heard of a house that throve
(And I know of one that didn't thrive)
Where the chimney started above the stove.

And I dread the ominous stain of tar
That there always is on the papered walls,
And the smell of fire drowned in rain
That there always is when the chimney's false.

A shelf's for a clock or vase or picture,
But I don't see why it should have to bear
A chimney that only would serve to remind me
Of castles I used to build in air.


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