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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Robert Faggen
Affiliation:
Claremont McKenna College, California
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Summary

Robert Frost became an American sage. His public popularity as well as the approachability and renown of a few of his justly brilliant lyrics – “The Road Not Taken,” “Fire and Ice,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” – have obscured the immense range of his achievement and subtlety as an artist and his complexity as a thinker. This was partly Frost's own doing as he enjoyed the evasions strangely made possible by the great fame in his later years that had eluded him in his early decades. At first a shy performer, Frost became a charming reader of his own work. The sound of a poem was so important to him that he insisted on “saying” a poem, never “reading” it. Each performance could become a slightly new interpretation. He was also a masterful talker, and he cultivated a brilliant way of sounding off-handed while being incisive and profound. For many, Frost the figure of the genial farmer-poet and prophet of American individualism became one of the great acts of American literary culture; the real Frost was a far more elusive shapeshifter and trickster, a learned and trenchant intellect with a sometimes terrifyingly bleak vision of human existence.

This Introduction will focus on Frost's major poetry, from his earliest lyrics to the complex dramatic narratives rarely discussed but which are part of his most important work.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Preface
  • Robert Faggen, Claremont McKenna College, California
  • Book: The Cambridge Introduction to Robert Frost
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139167338.001
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  • Preface
  • Robert Faggen, Claremont McKenna College, California
  • Book: The Cambridge Introduction to Robert Frost
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139167338.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Robert Faggen, Claremont McKenna College, California
  • Book: The Cambridge Introduction to Robert Frost
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139167338.001
Available formats
×