Robert Frost: An Introduction

Robert Frost: An Introduction

Robert Frost: An Introduction

Robert Frost: An Introduction

Excerpt

When Robert Frost wrote that "the fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows," he affirmed a possibility. So it is with this pamphlet. The facts are here. Each poem, review, and article is a fact. There are facts from which to create facts: information and evidence to be discovered, selected, marshaled, and presented in a new form. There are opportunities for learning facts about footnoting and bibliography. In the process, the student may transform his investigation into an imaginative experience. Frost's poems will help, and so will the criticism.

To Amy Lowell, Frost's poetry is a simple, solemn photograph of New England; to William Rose Benét, it is the earthy, wise, and artful expression of a great man; to Lionel Trilling, it is a vision of a terrifying universe. These opposed views indicate some of the general matters with which this pamphlet is concerned: the relationship of a poem to the poet and to the world; the nature of a poem and the art of it. The opening material in the pamphlet is relatively simple: the three comments on "After Apple-Picking" merely suggest ways in which the poem can be approached, and the student should have little difficulty in grasping their substance--and perhaps only a little more difficulty in distinguishing the approaches as they could be applied to any poem. The material becomes progressively more difficult, but almost none of it presupposes special literary interests or understanding.

Many of the selections are offered complete as they originally appeared. Original pagination is provided for all the material. Some of the research topics given in the appendix are designed so that the teacher can--if he wishes--require the student to consult the library for specific additional sources for individual topics.

February, 1961 ROBERT A. GREENBERG JAMES G. HEPBURN

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