Robert Frost 1874-1963. Robert Frost. Biography Frost on Poetry Reception Texts Regional Poetry. Frost on Poetry. —the ear does it . The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.
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—the ear does it. The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.
—“Education for Poetry”
—Letter to Louis Untermeyer
At the same time, [the book] is extraordinarily free from a young man’s extravagances; there is no insistent obtrusion of self-strain after super-things. Neither does it belong to any modern ‘school,’ nor go in harness to any new and twisted theory of art. It is so simple, lucid, and experimental that, reading a poem, one can see clearly with the poet’s own swift eye, and follow the trail of his glancing thought. One feels that this man has seen and felt; seen with a revelatory, a creative vision; felt personally and intensely; and he simply writes down, without confusion or affectation, the results thereof. Rarely today is it our fortune to fall in with a new poet expressing himself in so pure a vein.
—The Academy, 1913
—Edward Thomas, 1914
—Ezra Pound, 1914
Besides the Frost that everybody knows there is one whom no one even talks about. Everybody knows what the regular Frost is: the one living poet who has written good poems that ordinary readers like without any trouble and understand without any trouble; the conservative editorialist and self-made apothegm-joiner, full of dry wisdom and free, complacent, Yankee enterprise; the Farmer-Poet--this is an imposing private role perfected for public use, a sort of Olympian Will Rogers out of Tanglewood Tales; and, last or first of all, Frost is the standing, speaking reproach to any orther good modern poet: 'If Frost can write poetry that's just as easy as Longfellow you can too--you do too.' It is this 'easy' side of Frost that is most attractive to academic readers, who are eager to canonize any modern poet who condemns in example the modern poetry which they condemn in precept; and it is this side that has helped get him neglected or depreciated by intellectuals--the reader of Eliot or Auden usually dismisses Frost as something inconsequentially good that he knew all about long ago.
So far from being obvious, optimistic, orthodox, many of these poems are extraordinarily subtle and strange.
For a long time I was alienated from Frost’s great canon of work by what I saw in it, that either itself seemed to denigrate the work of the critical intellect or that gave its admirers the ground for making the denigration.
I have to say that my Frost is not the Frost I seem to perceive existing in the minds of so many of his admirers. He is not the Frost who confounds the characteristically modern practice of poetry by his notable democratic simplicity of utterance: on the contrary. He is not the Frost who reassures us by his affirmation of old virtues, simplicities, pieties, and ways of feeling: anything but.
Professor Trilling confessed that he thinks of Frost as a 'terrifying' poet, and that 'the universe he conceives is a terrifying universe.' Holy mackerel! Frost simply sees the universe as it is and accepts it. He isn't terrified by what he sees, and neither should we be. He takes it in his stride, which is one reason why he is in there pitching at 85.
I hope Robert Frost was having a nice plate of buckwheat cakes and Vermont maple syrup as he read Mr. Adams' remarks. He couldn't have done better unless he had taken the so-called professor out to the woodshed.
Frost might have had a Novel prize if so many New York critics hadn't gone whoring after European gods.
The actual activity 12-27
“Spring is the mischief in me” 28-38
“I see him there” 38-45