Happy Birthday, Robert Frost!

March 26, 2016

frost axe

On this day in 1874 the beloved American poet Robert Frost was born in San Francisco.  After his father’s death from tuberculosis in 1885, Frost moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts with his mother and sister, and on November 8, 1894, his first published poem “My Butterfly” appeared in the New York newspaper The Independent.  He eventually earned four Pulitzer Prizes and the 1960 Congressional Gold Metal for his poetry while becoming – according to poet/critic Daniel Hoffman – “our nearly official poet laureate and a great performer in the tradition of… Mark Twain.”  So celebrate the American Bard’s birthday with his Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays, and for a special treat, don’t miss this ultra-rare clip of Frost reading his famous poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” courtesy of Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor.  Enjoy!

National Poetry Month: April 13th

April 13, 2011

Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud —
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something!  And it says “I burn.”
But say with what degress of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height.
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

This poem was selected by Margaret S. (Reference Librarian)

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Goodbye, National Poetry Month!

April 30, 2010

Has it been a month already?? Check your calendar, poetry fiends, it seems that it has. April is over, May flowers (and their attendant pilgrims) are on the way, and National Poetry Month is history for another year. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, and that you’ll continue to read, write, explore and seek out new poems and poets all the other months of the year. Because as great as National Poetry Month is, reading poetry every month is better still. It doesn’t take long, cleanses your harried mind, gives you something to ponder the next time you’re bored or frustrated (hello, dentist chair; greetings, traffic snarl), and adds a tiny dash of the world’s wide and varied beauty into your life. And with that in mind, we offer up one final slice of poetic sublimity (and one of my personal favorites) for your enjoyment. Happy April, May, and beyond.

Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost

Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)–
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

This poem was selected by Andy R. (Reader’s Services)

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