The Art of Robert Frost

Overview

Widely revered during his lifetime, Robert Frost continues to enchant readers today, nearly a century after the publication of his first volume of poems, A Boy's Will. This book presents a splendid selection of sixty-five poems from across Frost's writing career, beginning in the 1890s and ending with "Directive" from the 1940s. Tim Kendall offers a detailed account of each poem, enabling readers to follow the journey which Frost himself recognized in all great poetry: "It ...

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Overview

Widely revered during his lifetime, Robert Frost continues to enchant readers today, nearly a century after the publication of his first volume of poems, A Boy's Will. This book presents a splendid selection of sixty-five poems from across Frost's writing career, beginning in the 1890s and ending with "Directive" from the 1940s. Tim Kendall offers a detailed account of each poem, enabling readers to follow the journey which Frost himself recognized in all great poetry: "It begins in delight and ends in wisdom."

In addition to close readings of the poems, The Art of Robert Frost traces the development of Frost's writing career and relevant aspects of his life. The book also assesses the particular nature of the poet's style, how it changes over time, and how it relates to the works of contemporary poets and movements, including Modernism.

The first book on Frost to combine selected poems with a critical study, this appealing volume will be welcome on the shelves of scholars, students, and all other readers who love fine poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

“One hopes [this book] will become a model for scholars. Essential.”—Choice
Library Journal
Kendall (English, Univ. of Exeter; Sylvia Plath) traces the development of core themes throughout the work of Robert Frost. The selection of poems addressed is based on "quality and variety" and covers the range of Frost's career, but the majority were written between 1890 and 1920. Each of the included poems is followed by a brief essay demonstrating Kendall's phenomenal abilities. In a page or two, he provides complete analysis of structure, language, and motifs in an easily accessible way. He even manages to incorporate other Frost scholars for perspective and identifies Frost's influences to provide context. Experts and novices alike will gain great insight into—and better understanding of—Frost's works. VERDICT Kendall is a masterful critic and teacher. Any fan or student of Robert Frost or of poetry in general should pick this up immediately. Also, those who struggle with understanding poetry will find in this work a guide not only to interpreting Frost, but to developing close reading skills.—Paolina Taglienti, Everest College, Henderson, NV
Shelf Awareness
“Tim Kendall brings a fresh look to Frost's poems in this combination of anthology and critical study.”—Shelf Awareness
Deseret News

“[A] joyous new book…an insightful glimpse into 65 of Frost’s most notable poems as well as homage to another era.”—Deseret News
Vulture.com

“Kendall’s book is an unusual hybrid, part anthology, part critical study: 65 poems with two or three pages of understated, illuminating commentary about each. It’s a good way to revisit Frost—and, per Frost, revisiting him is precisely what we should do.”—Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine’s Vulture.com
Mark Richardson

"Clean and lucid--a delight to read - Kendall's readings are astute and well-tempered. The book is not merely as a fine introduction to Frost, but also an anthology, informed by careful textual scholarship. Frost has found an ideal audience in Timothy Kendall."—Mark Richardson, Doshisha University
Jon Stallworthy

“In Professor Kendall's generous selection from Frost's published collections, the voice of the critic is perfectly tuned to that of the poet. Kendall's 'readings' are lucid, persuasive, and blessedly jargon-free. One hopes that others will adopt his brilliant and innovative model when introducing other poets’ Selected Poems."—Jon Stallworthy, Oxford University
David Bromwich

"Tim Kendall's critical study of the poetry of Robert Frost gives the sustained close analysis that this great body of work has always deserved. Kendall quotes generously and he explains the structure and texture of individual poems with a subtlety that is equal to the imaginative demands of his subject."—David Bromwich, Yale University
New England Book Festival - Poetry Category Runner-Up

 Runner-Up in the Poetry Category at the 2012 New England Book Festival.
New England Society - Book Award

Finalist  for the 2013 New England Society Book Awards in the Nonfiction category.
Choice - Outstanding Academic Title

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2012 for English and American within the Humanities category.
JM Northern Media LLC - New York Book Festival

Runner-up, Poetry category at the 2013 New York Book Festival sponsored by JM Northern Media LLC.
Choice

“One hopes [this book] will become a model for scholars. Essential.”—Choice
New Republic - Adam Plunkett
“A useful and intelligent book . . . a fine introduction to Frost and a thoughtful work of criticism.”—Adam Plunkett, New Republic
Times Literary Supplement - Seamus Perry

"[An} immensely pleasurable anthology… Tim Kendall’s commentary is exemplary: locally attentive and widely informed, it should prove both helpful to the newcomer and a good companion to those many readers for whom these striking poems are already a part of their inner landscape."—Seamus Perry, Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300118131
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 596,239
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Kendall is professor of English literature and Head of English, University of Exeter. He lives in Devon.

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