Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Robert Frost on Poet Amy Lowell

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Robert Frost on Poet Amy Lowell

Article excerpt

In honor of National Poetry Month, here's an excerpt from the great US poet's salute, which he wrote for the Monitor. It ran on May 16, 1925.

It is absurd to think that the only way to tell if a poem is lasting is to wait and see if it lasts. The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken an immortal wound - that he will never get over it. That is to say, permanence in poetry as in love is perceived instantly. It hasn't to await the test of time. The proof of a poem is not that we have never forgotten it, but that we knew at sight that we never could forget it. There was a barb to it and a tocsin that we owned to at once. How often I have heard it in the voice and seen it in the eyes of this generation that Amy Lowell had lodged poetry with them to stay.

The most exciting movement in nature is not progress, advance, but expansion and contraction, the opening and shutting of the eye, the hand, the heart, the mind. …

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