On the Sonnets of Robert Frost: A Critical Examination of the 37 Poems

Overview

?The sonnet is the strictest form I have behaved in, and only then by pretending it wasn?t a sonnet,? Frost once wrote to Louis Untermeyer. Frost wrote his sonnets in couplets, triplets, and terza rima; frequently, he combined elements of the Italian and English forms. His genuis was in incorporating diverse styles, renewing reader interest in the form while retaining its accessibility. Several of the sonnets discussed are generally recognized as among the finest poems written in the twentieth century.

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Overview

“The sonnet is the strictest form I have behaved in, and only then by pretending it wasn’t a sonnet,” Frost once wrote to Louis Untermeyer. Frost wrote his sonnets in couplets, triplets, and terza rima; frequently, he combined elements of the Italian and English forms. His genuis was in incorporating diverse styles, renewing reader interest in the form while retaining its accessibility. Several of the sonnets discussed are generally recognized as among the finest poems written in the twentieth century.

This is the first work to examine all the 37 poems published that are, based on the poet’s own prose writings on the subject, defined as true sonnets. It also provides a discussion of why some Frost works commonly accepted as sonnets do not meet his own criteria. Of course, the book provides content analyses of the sonnets with discussions of the various structures used.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Analyzes the content and the various structures of all the 20th- century American poet's published poems that can be defined as true sonnets according to the criteria he set out himself in his prose writing. Also discusses why others commonly accepted as sonnets do not make the cut. Does not present the poems themselves. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786424207
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/8/2005
  • Pages: 157
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

H.A. Maxson's poetry has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and he is also the author of five other books: a novel and four collections of poetry. He lives in Milford, Delaware.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - "The Strictest Form I Have Behaved In": Identifying Frost's Sonnets 1
1 "An arrest of disorder": Frost's Forms and Themes 13
2 Into My Own: The Sonnets of A Boy's Will 21
Into My Own 23
A Dream Pang 28
The Vantage Point 31
3 Range-Finding: The Sonnets of Mountain Interval 35
Meeting and Passing 37
The Oven Bird 40
Putting in the Seed 44
Range-Finding 48
4 On a Tree...: The Sonnet of New Hampshire 51
On a Tree Fallen Across the Road 53
5 Acquainted with the Night: The Sonnets of
West-Running Brook 59
Acceptance 61
Once by the Pacific 65
The Flood 69
Acquainted with the Night 72
A Soldier 77
The Investment 79
6 The Master Speed: The Sonnets of A Further Range 85
The Master Speed 87
Design 89
On a Bird Singing in Its Sleep 94
Unharvested 98
7 The Silken Tent: The Sonnets of A Witness Tree 101
The Silken Tent 103
Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same 106
Time Out 109
8 Etherealizing: The Sonnets of Steeple Bush 113
Etherealizing 115
Why Wait for Science 116
Any Size We Please 118
The Planners 120
No Holy Wars for Them 121
Bursting Rapture 122
The Broken Drought 123
9 Despair: Other Sonnets 127
Despair 129
When the Speed Comes 131
The Mill City 133
Pursuit of the Word 134
The Rain Bath 135
On Talk of Peace at This Time 136
The Pans 138
Trouble Rhyming 140
A Bed in the Barn 141
Bibliography 145
Index 147
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