Friday, September 29, 2006

More on the Found Robert Frost Poem

September 29, 2006 Washington Post
On the opening page of a small leather-bound book in a University of Virginia library, graduate student Robert Stilling found an inscription in brownish-gray ink. It was a poem by Robert Frost, in the poet's own hand, unknown and, Stilling believes, unpublished. "It's like coming across aruin," he said, finding a poem that Frost seemed to have abandoned. "It was a complete bolt out of the blue," said Ted Genoways, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, the kind of dramatic discovery that scholars dream of as they pore over manuscripts and letters. The poem, "War Thoughts at Home," has particular resonance now, Stilling said. It will be published, for thefirst time, it is believed, in the Virginia Quarterly Review available Monday.


I believe that when you begin writing you must apprentice yourself to the trade. You need to master the forms, practice the exercises, like learning and practicing scales on a piano…. But now, when I write a poem, I discover the form as I write…. The first draft may happen quickly. I then try to recognize the poem’s configuration, its meter or rhythm, and attempt to give the poem voice and shape. What intrigues and fascinates me is how complex a creature a poem can be. The content, the emotion, the images will leap up at you, but the subliminal formal elements are at work in the background.

--Elise Paschen


Fortune Cookie 9/27/2006:

No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.


At 2:02 PM, Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

This is what I've been able to piece together from various reports.

War Thoughts at Home
Robert Frost
[35 lines, 7 stanzas, each 5 lines]

The flurry of bird war [?]

It is late in an afternoon
More grey with snow to fall
Than white with fallen snow
When it is blue jay and crow
Or no bird at all.

3. [or 1?]
On the backside of the house
Where it wears no paint to the weather
And so shows most its age,
Suddenly blue jays rage
And flash in blue feather.


And one says to the rest
“We must just watch our chance
And escape one by one-
Though the fight is no more done
Than the war is in France.”

Than the war is in France!
She thinks of a winter camp
Where soldiers for France are made.
She draws down the window shade
And it glows with an early lamp.

The uneven sheds stretch back
Shed behind shed in train
Like cars that have long lain
Dead on a side track.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

I looked at a copy of the VQR on Tuesday and read the poem in its entirety. I was pleasantly surprised that it is a good poem and very Frost-like.


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