Robert Frost’s Poetry of Rural Life


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About the Book

“Wise old Vergil says in one of his Georgics, ‘Praise large farms, stick to small ones,’” Robert Frost said. “Twenty acres are just about enough.” Frost started out as a school teacher living the rural life of a would-be farmer, and later turned to farming full time when he bought a place of his own. After a sojourn in England where his first two books were published to critical acclaim, he returned to New England, acquired a new farm and became a rustic for much of the rest of his life.
Frost claimed that all of his poetry was farm poetry. His deep admiration for Virgil’s Georgics, or poems of rural life, inspired the creation of his own New England “georgics,” his answer to the haughty 20th-century modernism that seemed certain to define the future of Western poetry. Like the “West-Running Brook” in his poem of the same name, Frost’s poetry can be seen as an embodiment of contrariness.

About the Author(s)

George Monteiro is a professor emeritus of English and of Portuguese and Brazilian studies at Brown University and the author or editor of books on Henry James, Henry Adams, Robert Frost, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Fernando Pessoa, and Luis de Camões, among others.

Bibliographic Details

George Monteiro
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9789-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1945-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
1. The Poetry of Agriculture 5
2. All Legends Are Local 34
3. The Poet’s Facts 41
4. His Metaphysical Sonnet 49
5. An Occupation Gone 55
6. Adam’s Curse 62
7. The Passing Glimpse 67
8. Solitary Griefs 76
9. An Art of the Possible 83
10. His Best Bid for Fame 99
11. Crowe Ransom 117
12. Axe and Helve 122
13. A Single Peel 127
14. Poem / Play 132
15. Nothing Gold Can Stay 141
Chapter Notes 153
Bibliography 169
Index 178

Book Reviews & Awards

“exceptionally well written, organized and presented…very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review