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While those such as Eliot and Stevens shivered with distaste at the idea of writing poetry that was intelligible to the masses, Frost was determined to evolve a style that would appeal both to an average poetry consumer and, through its secret equivocations, to the more discerning reader. Ideally, it would educate the former, and transform them into the latter...In 1915, Frost returned to the US as something of a celebrity, and shrewdly set about cultivating, on the one hand, a popular audience and, on the other, the esteem of influential critics. The Notebooks of Robert Frost offer an intriguing insight into Frost's mind. They are not, it should be said, at all systematic. The first entries in Notebook 4, for instance, were made in 1909, and the last in the 1950s. Some contain drafts of work in progress, others fragments of lectures and notes for classes. Their scrupulous, perhaps over-scrupulous, editor Robert Faggen, has chosen to reprint the contents of all 49 notebooks in their entirety...While only the most devoted of Frost scholars will find their attention held by every page, this is a great book to open at random...Frost once described poetry as a 'momentary stay against confusion.' There's plenty of confusion in these notebooks, but they also offer a series of vivid glimpses into how and why he fashioned each 'momentary stay.'
— Mark Ford