Other Stuff Exists

Don't get too comfortable with the familiar–other stuff exists, so go explore!

A Boy’s Will

Posted by Tracy Poff on February 17, 2014

Oh, my, I’ve been neglecting to copy my reviews into my blog! Let’s correct that.

Robert Frost’s first collection of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1913 by David Nutt, and then in 1915 by Henry Holt and Company. For those keeping score at home, that’s a year after Henry Holt published Frost’s second book of poetry, North of Boston.

Of course I’d read a few poems by Robert Frost at some point during my life, but I wanted to get a little more familiar with poetry in general and Frost in particular, so I decided to begin at the beginning. There are some lovely poems in here, though perhaps none are my particular favorites.

“My November Guest” is wonderfully easy to read (i.e. the rhythm is natural–the interpretation is not quite so simple!) and felt as appropriate in January as November.

“The Tuft of Flowers”, too, I especially liked. I read in it the transformative power of experience, as, in the space of a few lines, the speaker goes from:

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,–alone,

‘As all must be,’ I said within my heart,
‘Whether they work together of apart.’

to:

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’

It’s a lovely poem, indeed.

The other poems in the book are well worth reading, as well, so I suggest that any fans of poetry check this one out. It’s an impressive first book from a very impressive poet.

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