The Notebooks of Robert Frost

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Poet Robert Frost never wanted to be honored only by an elite crowd. He wanted lots of readers to follow him into woods "lovely, dark and deep," with snow and horse and farmhouse "and miles to go before I sleep."

But the celebrated farmer-poet — the crusty, woodsy sage of primary school recitals — was, in fact, a far more complicated and darker man, and poet, than his public's sentimental reading first suggests.

A new collection of Frost's private notebooks — dime store spiral pads stuffed in shirt pockets — give us a tougher, darker, deeper Frost, who's still in love with language.

This hour On Point: dark Frost, from the notebooks of America's great popular poet.

Quotes from the Show:

"The notebooks are really 60 years of Frost thinking. ... Frost's meditations come teeming in no particular order. ... Several of them are teaching notebooks, and they're fascinating because they reveal Frost -the teacher." Robert Faggen

"I don't think he [Frost] would have left these notebooks around if he didn't think that one day they would be transcribed." Robert Faggen

"I see a tremendous drama of a mind [in these notebooks]. He was a very active questioning mind." Robert Pinsky

"In some ways he was extraordinarily democratic — like George Washington — but he believed in a natural form of aristocracy." Robert Faggen


Robert Faggen, editor of "The Notebooks of Robert Frost" and professor of English at Claremont McKenna College.

Robert Pinsky, former poet laureate of the United States and professor of English at Boston University.

This program aired on March 16, 2007.


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