January 31, 2013

Fascinating article about Robert Frost

Artichoke Annie sent me a link to a great article about the poet, Robert Frost.
There was, Holden writes, a “strength and vividness” to Frost in person, which you would be unaware of if you only knew his poems, as they lacked “the very quality which makes him most noticeable as a personality. It is as if that quality were kept out—frequently, but certainly not always—by some strangely generated sense of reserve.” In his poetry, Frost emphasized the part of himself that remained aloof and on the outside. He was like “a very keen-witted boy,” Holden says, “who would rather know how to sharpen an axehead than sharpen it, who would rather know where spruce gum comes from than go and gather it.” Active with one part of himself—playing baseball, clearing brush, trudging through the woods looking for wildflowers—he was also always watching and weighing. He was talking with you but he was also attending to the patterns of your speech, listening for a poetic rhythm.
I adore Frost and was surprised by what the article's author, Joshua Rothman, said about him. I thought Frost would have been reticent and uncomfortable with people, but Rothman made me think otherwise. Or is the second part of the article the truth? Did Frost have a "dark energy" and was his seemingly friendly demeanor a sham, a disguise? I guess I'll have to read a biography (or two) to make an informed decision.

If you admire the man and his poetry, do read the linked article.

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