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Homage to Robert Frost Paperback – September 30, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374525242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374525248
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney, and Derek Walcott, Nobel laureates all, have written perceptive, affectionate, admiring essays on Robert Frost. Eschewing both of the prevailing caricatures of Frost (the irascible but beloved cracker-barrel philosopher and the shallow megalomaniac), these writers pay careful attention to the poems themselves. They open doors into the world of words that Frost constructed, and help readers understand the music and the ideas in those worlds. Derek Walcott's dark reading of Frost's much-quoted classic, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," is alone worth the price of Homage to Robert Frost.

From Publishers Weekly

While in life Frost (1874-1963) took on the persona of a gentlemen farmer, he emerges from these essays as a far darker and more complex figure. And certainly no poet could ask for better critics than these three Nobel laureates. The late Joseph Brodsky offers a masterful close reading of two of Frost's poems, the lyric "Come In" and the narrative "Home Burial." Seamus Heaney's piece, though slightly less focused, is filled with insights and reads like poetry itself. Derek Walcott's essay, the most broadly focused, argues that Frost's straightforward colloquial voice was as important an innovation for American verse as the more ostentatious experiments of Williams and Cummings. He sees in Frost the heir of both Whitman and Dickinson. Each of these essays was originally published in magazines?Brodsky in the New Yorker, Heaney in Salmagundi and Walcott in the New Republic?and this book would doubtlessly have been even stronger if it had been created by design rather than happenstance. But these pieces are criticism as an art form, and a superb invitation to explore the work of a great American poet.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you need to read one critical examination of Robert Frost, buy this & read Joseph Brodsky's fantastic, accessible take on "Home Burial". What a great book this is--three fine poets examining a brilliant poet. But it is Brodsky who best holds to the Frost credo--he speaks clearly and plainly.
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Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous little book to be savoured at every chance and to be re-read as well. Its instructive for both the reader of poetry and the writer of poetry and every student of poetry should read this little masterpiece.It contains many insights and adds a much needed depth to the Frost that many may suspect is not there. Brodsky's erudite rendering of Frost as a student of Virgil makes me want to run back to Virgil and read other works by him besides the Aeneid and go to The Eclogues, also called Bucolics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Brodsky, Heaney, and Walcott helped me hear the music of Frost's poetry. They don't analyze all that many poems but the insights they offer open the door to others. For example, I learned about Frost's idea of "Sentence-Sounds" in Brodsky's review of "Home Burial" and his idea of the "Sounds of Sense" in Heaney's discussion of "Desert Places". Then when I read Frost's "To a Thinker", which does not appear in "Homage to Frost", I came across the line "...From sound to sense and back to sound", and of course I recognized a familiar theme. If you like Frost, this book makes a nice companion reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on January 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Poet Robert Frost (1874 - 1963), known for his use of colloquial American speech and rural settings, won four Pulitzer Prizes, among many other honors and recognitions. By the time I was in junior high and high school, his poetry was in all the American literature textbooks; he'd been published since 1914 and I assumed he had always been well known.

What I didn't know was that to took World War II to make his work known to the general public. In Homage to Robert Frost by Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott, Brodsky tells us that in 1943, the U.S. War Council distributed - as a morale builder - 50,000 copies of Frost's "Come In, And other Poems" to U.S. troops stationed overseas.

That thought is rather staggering - a book of poetry distributed to troops as a morale builder.

Brodsky, Heaney and Walcott all received the Nobel Prize for literature, which Frost never did. All three were born outside the United States; Frost was the quintessential New Englander. And in this collection of essays, each pays homage to a poet who enormously influenced them and their poet generations.

In his essay, taken from a seminar he taught in Paris, Brodsky explicates two Frost poems - "Come In" (the title poem from that World War II collection) and "Home Burial," which may have been based upon the death (from cholera) of Frost's firstborn child. Brodsky takes a journey through both poems, weaving a narrative that is both deep and suspenseful.

Heaney discusses "Home Burial" in less detail, but also covers "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (known to generations of schoolchildren, including me), "Birches," "Desert Places" and several others. He focuses on the sounds of Frost's poetry, their "bracing lyric power.
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