Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Robert Frost: A Life Paperback – March 15, 2000
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The answer lies with Lawrance Thompson. Thompson was one of Frost's most earnest disciples, and for years the poet, ever eager to shape his own image, allowed him a Boswellian intimacy. Unfortunately, Thompson came to despise his former mentor, and his exhaustively documented volumes portray Frost as a kind of solipsistic monster, in marked contrast to the awe with which he had previously been described. Parini, also a biographer of John Steinbeck, in a wave of perspective seeks a corrective to Thompson's bile. His writing is intelligent yet breathlessly generous, and he is at his best when considering the poems themselves. He rightly ascribes to Frost the innovation of the colloquial voice in serious verse--a legacy that appears immense today when so much contemporary poetry consists of little else. Frost's mastery lay in the freedom he found within conformity and the dark corners he discovered by probing, which contribute to a melancholic spirituality beyond the rusticity for which he is popularly celebrated. While Thompson's egg is cracked and dry, Parini prefers a softer boil, and his elegantly reverential tone is imbued with a perception that reminds readers how great a poet Frost remains. The clergyman who advised him at an early age that his verse was "too close to speech," and thus gave him his voice, deserves eternal gratitude. --David Vincent, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
I remember thinking the image of this short, stocky white-haired old man was as close to a wood nymph as I would ever come. Later, I was to learn that Frost lead anything but a simple life. Biographer drawing on this image, often sensationalized the details of his life at the expense of the precious poetry he created.
Jay Parini, the Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College, does not travel that path. Rather, he provides his readers with insight into how Frost lived day-to-day, poem to poem. He animates Frost's daily struggles with depression, anxiety, self-doubt and confusion. The poet's family life was not happy; he experienced bad luck with his children. Yet, he exhibited tremendous force of will, love for his children and dedication to creating a lasting body of creative work.
Unlike Frost previous biographers, Parini skillfully weaves the details of the poet's life with poetry he created. Frost's desire to "lodge a few poems where they can't be gotten rid of easily" is woven into a picture of an artist attempting to rescue his sanity by creating what he called a "momentary stay against confusion."
For me, reading Frost's poetry is a labor of love; reading Parini's biography is like reliving a best friend's life. This biographical study offers an unusual glimpse into the life, poetry and times of Robert Frost, a man who ranks as one of the world's greatest poets.
This biography offers a major reassessment of the life and work of America's premier poet--the only truly "National Poet" the U.S. has, so far, produced.
Author Jay Parini began working on this biography in 1975, through interviews with friends and associates of Frost's and working in the poet's archives at Dartmouth, Amherst and elsewhere.
In prose that is both elegant and simple, Parini traces the stages of Frost's colorful life: his boyhood in San Francisco (no, he was not a native New Englander!), his young manhood in New England, his college days at Dartmouth and later at Harvard, his years of farming in New Hampshire, his three-year stay in England where he became friends with people such as Ezra Pound, Edward Thomas and other important figures of modern poetry.
Following Frost's meteoric rise upon his return to America from England in 1915, Parini traces the path Frost took from poet to cultural icon, a friend and intimate of presidents, a sage whose pronouncements attracted the attention of the world press.
Yet, the beauty of this book lies in the fact that Parini never loses sight of Frost at his deepest and most human, the man behind the gorgeous and sensitive poetry that enraptured a nation. Always managing to take us back to the poetry and Frost's roots, Parini, in this beautiful book, offers a sensitive roadmap of both Frost, the man and his incredible talent.
Difficult,petulant,egoistic-Frost could be. But he was no monster. He had a deep affection for his friends and family.His charm and humour show him to be a man whom many could like.In later life he was much in demand at universities,dinners and ,of course,who can forget his performance at the inauguration of President Kennedy.
Parini's book is the first to put the character of Frost into perspective.He does not duck the down side such as Frost's attempts to denigrate or badmouth his rivals.Nevertheless Parini reminds us that Frost was an engaging character who could make great friends.
One important illustration of Frost's ability to charm is his period in England.Frost was first published-not in the United States- but in England where he lived from 1912-1915.There he became close friends with a number of English poets-such as Edward Thomas,Wilfred Gibson and (my great-uncle)Jack Haines.Parini comprehensively covers this period showing Frost's close relationship to Thomas whom he persuaded to write poetry and his life in Gloucestershire which was to have an influence on the rest of his life.
The book should not be read just for its success in bringing the character of Frost into balance.The book provides also an excellent analysis of Frost's poetry.Parini shows Frost versatility but equally that Frost -unlike so many poets- could produce poetry of quality in his old age.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have enjoyed Frost poetry for sometime, but am enjoying learning something about his life and development throughout his career. Read morePublished 28 days ago by William Kehoe
This is, I think, the best biography of the man and poet. Parini endeavors to avoid the trap of "reading the life too closely into the work," while still attending closely... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Montana Skyline
Much more positive than the "authorized" one by Thompson.Published 6 months ago by Charles L Innis Jr.
A very good book about a great poet, which is not known ennough in the French speaking world.Published 12 months ago by John Erken