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Robert Frost: Sixteen Poems to Learn by Heart

Robert Frost: Sixteen Poems to Learn by Heart
Celebrate Robert Frost's 150th birthday with a deluxe keepsake edition featuring 16 of his greatest poems--with brilliant essays highlighting his special genius and the power of memorization to unlock the magic of his language

During a public reading Robert Frost was once asked why he so frequently recited his poems from memory. With typical wit, he replied: "If they won't stick to me, I won't stick to them." Remarkably among the modern poets, his poems "stick" to the reader:

  • "Mending Wall," with its famous invocation of the rural maxim "Good fences make good neighbors"
  • "The Road Not Taken," about the beguiling possibilities of life
  • "Birches," which reminds us that "One could do worse than be a swinger of birches
  • "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," with its unforgettable final line: "And miles to go before I sleep."

  • Here, poet and Frost biographer Jay Parini presents these and 12 other Frost poems to learn by heart. In short accompanying commentaries, Parini illuminates the stylistic and imaginative features of each of the poems, drawing in biographical material from Frost's life to provide further context. "The goal of this little book is to encourage readers to slow down--to listen to Frost's words and phrases, to locate their deepest rhythms, and hear the tune of each poem as it unfolds. . . . Memorizing a poem can teach us much about a poem's structure and argument, and about the resonance of particular words. And best of all, memorization makes a poem part of our inner lives. Once committed to memory, a poem is available to us for recall at any time--and the occasions for remembering it will make themselves known to us. It isn't something we have to work at."

    Anyone who has read and loved Frost's poetry will want to own and treasure this little gift edition. Those reading Frost for the first time or those wishing to become better acquainted with one of America's greatest poets will not find a better, more insightful guide than Jay Parini.

    Publication Date: 
    March 5, 2024
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