The Ordeal of Robert Frost: The Poet and His Poetics
University of Illinois Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 272 pages
The Ordeal of Robert Frost depicts Frost not as a rugged individualist, but as a thoroughly contemporary poet, dynamically engaged - in his own way - in the developments of literary modernism and American cultural criticism, and in the social and political issues of his time. Through close readings of Frost's poetry and often ignored prose, Mark Richardson argues that Frost's debates with Van Wyck Brooks, Malcolm Cowley, and H. L. Mencken informed his poetics and his poetic style just as much as did his deep identification with earlier writers like Emerson and William James. In this light, Richardson uncovers Frost's neglected similarities with, and important differences from, Pound and Eliot, and explores as well his struggles with the vocation of poetry - spiritually, socially, aesthetically, and personally.
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