« Houston, we have a .... | Main | Lang's 10 hues »

April 11, 2006

Frosty, this known man

Hughes and Frost -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

When I read North of Boston, as part of Paper 1, I opened it thinking there would be a collection of poems and nothing else. But there were more narratives, like The Death of the Hired Man. That one struck me that I could be made into a short play, like Trifles.

But one the authors of Six American Poets didn’t include was The Fear. For those who have the chance to read it (maybe in between chocolate Easter eggs), I’d appreciate your input if you care to give it. Specifically, I’d like to read your impression whether you think the couple was attacked or not. It is kind of creepy, almost Flannery O’Connor-ish.

These days, I’m sure the Robert Frost estate makes a lot of money selling the use of poems like The Road Not Taken to advertisers who use it to promote things like automobiles. I’ve also read articles where coaches will read that poem to their teams before a big game and then build upon the “taking the difficult road” cliche in order to rally them to victory. But I think they miss it to some degree.

People seem to concentrate on the “road” itself, but I think it’s about the decision - the actual choice the speaker makes, the choice not to follow others.

In this, Frost seemed to walk the talk as he moved his family to England while simultaneously trying to sell his poems in the U.S. If I recall correctly, Frost had a couple of favorable reviews by people like Ezra Pound, who decried the fact that Frost had to come overseas to be a success at home, a paradox.

Posted by MattHampton at April 11, 2006 12:36 AM


"The Fear" and "The Death of the Hired Hand" rely on dialogue so much that they are almost like plays, or even radio dramas. In "The Fear" Frost only hints at the possibility of danger, but whatever happens in the poem, the fear is very, very real.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 11, 2006 12:25 PM

I like reading your blogs just for the titles, Matt.

I agree its about the decision rather than the road. I think that decision is one that Frost felt can have an effect on your whole life.

Posted by: jennifer Difulvio at May 3, 2006 10:51 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?