New Poetry of New England: Frost and Robinson

New Poetry of New England: Frost and Robinson

New Poetry of New England: Frost and Robinson

New Poetry of New England: Frost and Robinson

Excerpt

I want to say first of all, before I begin on my subject of New Poetry of New England, that I appreciate deeply the great honor paid me in your invitation to join the very distinguished fellowship of my predecessors in the Percy Turnbull Memorial Lectureship in Poetry. I feel somewhat as my master Geoffrey Chaucer felt at the end of his greatest poem, Troilus and Criseyde. As he made his obeisance to Homer, Virgil, Lucan, and Statius, so I make mine to E. C. Stedman, Charles Eliot Norton, the poet "Æ.," my old teacher, Sir Walter Raleigh, George Lyman Kittredge, Mr. Lascelles Abercrombie, and Professor Herbert J. C. Grierson.

I feel especially humble, because I am not really a scholar of poetry at all. I was once, for a few years at Oxford. And I sometimes wish that I might have gone on being one. But I have been too busy being a maker of poetry myself. A man has only so many days in a year and so many years in a lifetime. Such time as I could spare from the teaching of poetry, I have spent in the creation of more. Poetry has been my avocation, and it has cut, not only into my hours of sleep and ephemeral exercise, but also into those hours I might have spent in critical research. I have used the third watch of the night for my making of poetry, for many years now. That is the time when the barnyard timekeeper of the night feels the sun slip over the bottom surface of the earth below his roost and start on its upward way. I find that time the best for living over again the excitements of expe-

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