Baker & Taylor In a collection of essays, three of our generation's greatest poets explore the mythologies and misconceptions that surround one of this country's most idolized poets.
Blackwell North Amer At a banquet thrown in New York in 1954 on the occasion of Robert Frost's eightieth birthday, Lionel Trilling is said to have lifted his glass and declared: "Robert Frost is the most terrifying poet of our time." This created quite a stir: Frost was, in Derek Walcott's words, "more of an emblem than any American poet except Whitman . . . that pitted, apple-cheeked, snow-crested image that the country idealized in its elders." He was an "icon of Yankee values" and was as immensely popular in his own time as he is today. Now, almost half a century later, three of our greatest contemporary poets explore the misconceptions and mythologies that surround Robert Frost. Joseph Brodsky finds Frost's autonomous and American "inkpot" brimming with the "black essence of existence." Seamus Heaney examines "the crystal of indifference at the core of Frost's being" and the skill that makes his verse pulse. Finally, Derek Walcott seeks out what is most American in Frost and defines the tension that keeps his poems taut as cords in our collective memory.