Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Poetry of Robert Frost Edited by Edward Connery Lathem

The poetry of Robert Frost has always been fascinating, but beyond a handful of poems frequently anthologized, most of the rest of his work was a mystery. A complete collection of his work has long been on my list of books to acquire and read, and I have finally accomplished both.

It is astounding that most of the well-known Frost poems were written in the second and third decades of the 20th century. Also, his poetry seems heavily influenced by the Romantics in that he uses common language, ordinary people, and ordinary events, although, on occasion, his language is slightly elevated.

Many of his early poems are long, dialogue-filled stories that lean more to prose than poetry. I didn’t care that much for those, and I began skipping them after the first few, but his short poems on odd topics were wonderful. A good example of all this is:

VI. Waspish

On glossy wings artistically bent
He draws himself up to his full extent.
His natty wings with self-assurance perk.
His stinging quarters menacingly work.
Poor egotist, he has no way of knowing
But he’s as good as anybody going. (309)

This is one of those books I will go back to over and over. I have marked my favorites, but I am sure others will be added during later reads.

--Chiron, 7/9/08

1 comment:

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