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This review is from: West-Running Brook (Hardcover)
When reviewing a classic, it's not clear whether a reviewer should discuss the writing or the physical medium.
For such well known and widely appreciated material, a reviewer must have something pretty darn poignant to say to provide useful information to potential purchasers. Alas, this is not me. I can say that this particular book exhibits poetic beauty to match Frost's other books, even though it is overlooked in favor of books like 'Mending Wall' and 'The Road Not Taken' ... books you can actually find recent printings of on Amazon. 'West-Running Brook' contains my favorite poem by Frost.
Regarding the physical medium, the binding and typesetting are fine -- never deficient and never outstanding. But there were two outstanding features. First, the original printing features many excellent engravings, which are not carried over into compilations. Second, my copy arrived with a folded, handwritten letter tucked inside the cover, apparently sent along with the book from its original owner to another person as a gift. The first feature may not matter, since people buy Frost for words; the second may not matter since, if it is authentic, it won't feature in other copies.
A final comment: I suggest reading Frost either in the original volumes or in compilations that retain the original organization of material. Frost published his works in suggestive thematic organizations, which are lost in a best-of compilation or a compilation organized by alphabetical title names. This is perhaps the most formal reason to recommend this book. Poetry has a funny relationship to formality though, and it is certainly inadequate to recommend the book on formal grounds. Poetry is a small-doses medicine, and big fat volumes of small print and narrow margins are uninviting, even if they are objectively economical. This volume is inviting. Among a casual group of friends -- with whom I have never mentioned poetry and of whom none had either -- I was inspired to get the book and make a couple short readings. Everyone enjoyed it. Technically this is possible with the same words in any medium, but this is a solid, simple, spacious, friendly volume amenable, even gracious, to your instinct to read.