Top Realtor POV: San Francisco Dust is Gold

by Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more best real estate advice (since 2013).

Reading time: 1 minute & 20 seconds

A Peck of Gold

by Robert Frost

Dust always blowing about the town,

Except when sea-fog laid it down,

And I was one of the children told

Some of the blowing dust was gold.

All the dust the wind blew high

Appeared like god in the sunset sky,

But I was one of the children told

Some of the dust was really gold.

Such was life in the Golden Gate:

Gold dusted all we drank and ate,

And I was one of the children told,

‘We all must eat our peck of gold.’

One of my favorite poems – ever since 6th or 7th grade when it was introduced to teach about symbolism – is Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I never tire of that and other Frost poems, and I imagine him living the woodsy literary life, tramping around New England in all sorts of weather. 

What I didn’t know is that he was born in San Francisco in 1874! And I didn’t know there is a plaza named after him with a plaque in his honor that includes a stanza of this poem. The plaza is located north of Market and just west of Spear street near the Hyatt Regency. 

AND I certainly didn’t know about this poem, Peck of Gold, until very recently. Something about the dust in San Francisco, which must have covered everything back in those days. Something about haves and have nots, about being surrounded by evanescent gold dust. Something about the “peck” of gold the children must eat – meaning a “speck” of gold dirt, not a peck of gold wealth like a 2-gallon portion. The poem seems as timely today as it was a century ago.

What do YOU think? That’s a real question: Please, I’d love to talk with you about it.

Photo Credit: MUILLU


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