The surest thing there is is we are riders,
And though none too successful at it, guiders,
Through everything presented, land and tide
And now the very air, of what we ride.

What is this talked-of mystery of birth
But being mounted bareback on the earth?
We can just see the infant up astride,
His small fist buried in the bushy hide.

There is our wildest mount–a headless horse.
But though it runs unbridled off its course,
And all our blandishments would seem defied,
We have ideas yet that we haven’t tried.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Riders


  1. Harry says:

    Lovely poem. I went to a sort of psychic magasse healer person about 8 months ago at a troubled time in my life. She did a meditation with me, saying to imagine myself as a river. Imagine all the things with me there in the river etc. This image has been so helpful to me, the sense of flow. At this time in my life I have no roots. So I think of me flowing and gathering leaves and twigs, fish and feet, rocks and dissolving snow. Flowing onward to the sea. It is a great image. Healing. Thanks for yr poem.

  2. Jim Morrison says:

    Hey Robbie whats up? Thanks for visiting me in that other place of fire. They say with good behavior I might even make it to pergaotory. I can only hope. But this poem is what I said in the song “Riders on the Storm”. ‘into this world were thrown, like a dog without a bone….RIDERS ON THE STORM’.

  3. sinead linton says:

    this poem aks the same old question- why are we placed on this earth, why do we make choices, it would be great if that could be answered. headless horses and signify that none of us know what our purposes on earth are we are just are here.

  4. Rajesh Venkatesan says:

    We are all riders of our own thoughts. Sometimes, we ride ‘headless horses’-thoughts without exact meanings, and sometimes our temptations are resisted. Frost is true…All of us have ideas which remain within us untried!

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