Day 794: Classic Club Spin #10! Selected Poems of Robert Frost

Cover for Selected PoemsMy book for Classics Club Spin #10 is Selected Poems of Robert Frost. I have to confess to not having quite succeeded in finishing my selection this time, but more than 300 pages of poetry is a lot of poetry to read. I got about halfway through the book.

Poetry is just not my thing, I guess. I did enjoy many of the poems in this book, but they were the same ones I’ve enjoyed before, so it was like visiting old friends—“Mowing,” “Mending Wall,” “After Apple-Picking,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Acquainted with the Night,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Most of these, I notice, are devoted to observations about nature or are about rural work.

I do not so much enjoy what Robert Graves refers to in the introduction as his “poignant country dramas,” like “The Death of the Hired Man.” They seem more like prose to me, which is ironic, since I am generally more comfortable with prose. But they are not what I come to Frost for. I come to him for things like this:

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.

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15 thoughts on “Day 794: Classic Club Spin #10! Selected Poems of Robert Frost

  1. Geoff W October 23, 2015 / 11:45 am

    I’m glad you put poetry on your list even though its not your thing! I didn’t even think to do that and I probably should have because I’m right there with you in not enjoying it/appreciating it/understanding it very much.

    • whatmeread October 23, 2015 / 1:52 pm

      Well, thanks. I always think it makes me think too hard, even though that usually doesn’t bother me for prose. I think if I put more on my list, I’ll try for some shorter volumes. One of the reasons I picked this one was because I had the book from my college poetry class.

    • Carolyn O October 29, 2015 / 9:30 am

      I think I need to bring back the poetry concierge. I love poetry and I want everyone else to love it too, le sigh.

      • Geoff W October 29, 2015 / 9:38 am

        Haahaa, I’m glad there are people out there that love it. I just don’t enjoy spending that much time trying to figure out what it is or means. (Yes, basically, I’m lazy :-D)

      • whatmeread October 29, 2015 / 9:45 am

        Yes, you do.

  2. Helen October 23, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    I’ve always struggled with poetry, so I’m impressed that you got halfway through this book! There are individual poems that I love but I find it difficult to read whole books of poetry. I wasn’t brave enough to put any on my own Classics Club list.

    • whatmeread October 23, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      Yes, exactly, although I had lots of fun with Carol Duffy’s The World’s Wife. It is a much shorter volume, though, and most of the poems were really fun.

  3. Anne @HeadFullofBooks October 23, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    I need help with poetry. If I read a poetry book without some sort of editorial comment I have a hard time appreciating it. But if i have :help: I quite like it.
    I read Great Expectations., my first dickens since childhood.

    • whatmeread October 26, 2015 / 7:36 am

      I try to do without editorial comment, but I feel like I’m missing a lot sometimes.

  4. piningforthewest October 26, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    I’m full of admiration that you chose poetry as I’m just not drawn to it and for some reason it rarely impresses me.

    • whatmeread October 27, 2015 / 7:25 am

      Oh, I think it takes a lot of ability to be a good poet.

  5. Carolyn O October 29, 2015 / 9:28 am

    That is the exact edition that I have (and taught from!). I love Frost, but I think the country dramas are less accessible to us now than they would have been to readers half a century ago.

    • whatmeread October 29, 2015 / 9:44 am

      I’m sure you’re right about that. Yes, this is the edition I used in my poetry class in 1972.

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