Visiting Frost: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Robert Frost

Overview

Like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Robert Frost looms large in the American literary landscape, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries like a poetic colossus: whosoever desires passage must, at some point, contend with the monolithic presence of Robert Frost. As they did in Visiting Emily and Visiting Walt, in Visiting Frost, Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro once again capture the conversations between contemporary poets and a legend whose voice endures. In his introduction to the collection, Frost biographer ...

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Overview

Like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Robert Frost looms large in the American literary landscape, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries like a poetic colossus: whosoever desires passage must, at some point, contend with the monolithic presence of Robert Frost. As they did in Visiting Emily and Visiting Walt, in Visiting Frost, Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro once again capture the conversations between contemporary poets and a legend whose voice endures. In his introduction to the collection, Frost biographer Jay Parini likens the poet to a “great power station, one who stands off by himself in the big woods, continuously generating electricity that future poets can tap into for the price of a volume of his poems.” A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose work is principally associated with the landscape and life in New England, Frost (1874-1963) was a traditional, psychologically complex, often dark and intense poet. In Visiting Frost, one hundred homage-paying poets—some who knew Frost, most only acquainted through his work—celebrate and reflect that intensity, in effect tapping into his electrical current. By reacting to specific Frost poems, by reinventing others, and by remembering aspects of Frost or by quarreling with him, the contributors speak on behalf of us whose lives have been brightened by the memorization and recitation of such poems as “The Road Not Taken” or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” As the poets pay tribute to Frost's place in American poetry and history, they suggest—more than forty years after his death-just how alive and vital he remains in our collective memory.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
From the same editors that brought us Visiting Emily (Dickinson) and Visiting Walt (Whitman), this anthology contains over 100 poems that pay homage to New England's premier poet. Robert Bly, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Kumin, Richard Eberhart, and Richard Wilbur are among the gifted contributors who honor Frost with, for example, poetic recollections of personal encounters with him, reflections at his grave, and remembrances of his appearance at JFK's inauguration. On the lighter side are parodies of some of Frost's most famous poems, such as Wendell Berry's send-up of The Pasture ("Don't come with me/You stay home too"), Kenneth Koch's Mending Sump ("Something there is that doesn't hump a sump"), or Gail White's Traveling with Cats on a Snowy Evening ("I've no idea whose woods these are/But I'm not getting very far/From Albany to NYC/With two cats yowling in my car.") Fans and students of Frost may be inspired to write their own tributes, or at least to revisit the work that won the poet four Pulitzer Prizes. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Univ. of Iowa Press, 180p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Jessica Swaim
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877459637
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro are the editors of Visiting Emily (Iowa 2000), recipient of a Minnesota Book Award, and Visiting Walt (Iowa 2003), finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. They teach at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where Coghill is professor of English and chair of the English Department and Tammaro is professor of multidisciplinary studies and teaches in the English Department and in the MFA in creative writing program.

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Read an Excerpt

“There is a singer everyone has heard, and that singer is Robert Frost. He had a lovely, strong, passionate, idiosyncratic, violent, sharp, deep, whimsical, witty, and wise voice. The reality presented by this anthology is that many gifted poets have listened to his songs, and they have found the tunes marvelous, and they have chosen to respond to those airs in their own measure, in their own strong voices. In this there is cause for celebration.”—Jay Parini, from the foreword

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Table of Contents

Stealing from Frost
Matter-of-fact magnificence
Stay home
A second-grade incident from Robert Frost's childhood 1
Trying to sleep on my father's couch and staring at the fractured plaster, I recall 2
Late December, where are you, Robert Frost? 3
Unable to sleep in Frost's bed in Franconia 4
Frost and his enemies 5
After snow-mobiling 6
Elinor White Frost speaks 8
Robert Frost 9
Of Robert Frost 10
The woodcut on the cover of Robert Frost's Complete poems 11
Poem beginning with a line from Frost 12
The ghosts of luxury 13
Postcard from Robert Frost's grave 16
Good-by and keep cold 17
Grandmother living in fear of free verse 19
Building walls 20
Getting over Robert Frost 21
Still life 22
Apparently someone in the department 23
Worldly failure 25
For Robert Frost 26
A farm in the Green Mountains 27
Night call 28
Mrs. Post's 6th-hour English class 29
On a theme by Frost 33
Indirective 35
The golden room 38
Poetry's beginning 40
Quarreling with Robert Frost 41
Robert Frost's writing desk 42
For the late R. F. 44
Africa 45
Frost song 47
Re : Robert 48
Unlettered 49
Sprites 50
From the porch of the Frost place 52
Robert Frost discovers another road not taken 54
Robert Frost 55
For Robert Frost 56
Mending sump 60
Bending the light 61
Dark and deep 62
The final poem 64
A hundred Himalayas 65
January 20 66
The night Robert Frost died 67
My test market 69
Robert Frost 70
"Found poem," north of Boston 71
Winter, 1963 72
On the porch at the Frost place, Franconia, NH 74
Robert Frost as father 76
Robert Frost in Warsaw 77
In memory of Robert Frost 78
Robert Frost's chair 80
Interpretation of a poem by Frost 81
For Robert Frost, in the autumn, in Vermont 82
Frost's last lecture : a tape : his audience - 1963 83
"Fire and ice" by Robert Frost : an early draft 84
The ruined house 85
Remembering Frost at Kennedy's inauguration 89
Stray moth, asleep 90
Thanks, Robert Frost 91
The illusion 92
The blue plate tea room : sestina 93
Elinor Frost's marble-topped kneading table 95
Robert Frost to Ezra Pound's daughter from his deathbed 97
Double dialogue : homage to Robert Frost 98
Robert Frost 99
Why God chose Robert Frost over Elvis 100
Frost at midnight 102
Frost in Miami 108
Now he knows all there is to know : now he is acquainted with the day and night 110
Frost to Skellings 111
Frost 112
Near Frost's grave 114
Burial code 115
Robert Frost : the road taken 116
Frost 117
Robert Frost's books, Ripton, Vermont, 1980 118
Worse 121
At the Robert Frost Memorial 122
Fae 123
Answering Robert Frost 124
The sun used to shine 125
Living at the Frost place 127
For Christine at the Frost farm 128
Happiness 129
The wall between us 132
The kindness of Abishag 134
On the road to Homer Noble farm 136
Robert Frost at the net 137
Making love at the Frost place 139
On not finding Frost's grave in the dark 140
Ghost Frost 141
After all 142
Traveling with cats on a snowy evening 144
Seed leaves 145
Home : after a poem by Frost 147
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