Why did I love this book?
In his hundreds of poems, Frost wrote about a lot of things, but almost always about the fluid nature of the world and our efforts to give it shape and meaning. The very form of a poem, he believed, embodies those efforts. The question always remains: What form do we find, what form do we impose, and what self do we construct in doing so?
Start with “For Once, Then, Something,” in which he adapts the meter of classical poetry to the cadences of the English language and the ambiguity of modern life. Take a long look at the long poem “Home Burial,” in which a grieving couple clash over incompatible ways of understanding nature’s apparent indifference to human desire. Re-read “Mending Wall,” in which two people disagree about the meaning of the form they cooperate in imposing on the landscape.
And don’t neglect the letters in which Frost acknowledges his dept to William James, the psychologist who explored how we make meaning of what he called the “blooming, buzzing confusion” around us – and find something like ourselves in the process.