Tag Archives: Robert Frost

Not Your Father’s Apple Cider

A visit to my cousins’ hard apple cider processing plant showed me that making the beverage has changed markedly since the days of John Keats and Robert Frost.

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A Message from the Mower in the Dew

Robert Frost’s “Tuft of Flowers” helped me grieve for my son in ways I am only beginning to understand.

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This Is the Way the World Ends

Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” reflects upon how the world will end. Recent news of melting Antarctic glaciers says we can expect fire and ice to both play a role.

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Captain Nemo Invades New England

Snowstorm Nemo set in conjunction with Joyce’s “The Dead” leads to some interesting reflections.

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The Road Less Traveled? Nope

Perhaps some entrepreneurs need to believe their success is solely due to their own efforts, as Bounderby, Willy Loman, and the speaker of “The Road Not Taken” do.

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Growing More Liberal as We Age

Frost may allude to the belief that we become more conservative as we age, but his own poetry refutes the claim.

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Meaning Is the Meaning of the Liberal Arts

When Frost’s tree falls in front of us, it can mean two things (at least). Literally, it’s a hassle. To the unexamined life, that’s all it will ever be. Get down and clear it away. On the other hand, there’s that question of meaning and where it comes from. Human beings do their best when their actions are invested with significance. That’s why we have ceremonies, like this one, to compel us to stop (because time itself doesn’t do so on its own), take some time, reflect on the significance of what is happening to us.

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What to Make of a Diminished Peyton

Sports Saturday “The question that he frames in all but words,” Robert Frost writes in his “Ovenbird” sonnet, “is what to make of a diminished thing.” This poem has always had a special place in my heart.The ovenbird is not a bird that sings when June is bustin’ out all over.Rather, it is a “mid-summer and […]

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Essay Grading and the Great Wall of China

At this time of year, I sometimes wonder why I signed up for this gig. Stacks of ungraded essays are strewn “far and wee” across my study, and only the knowledge that I have completed my student essays in the past assures me that I will make it through this batch. In my hour of […]

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Soccer, an Un-American Sport?

Landon Donovan, man of the match        Sports Saturday Years ago I read (I think in The Washington Post) a humorous article about why Americans are not great soccer enthusiasts.  The article said that Americans have problems with a game where a two-goal lead is practically insurmountable. Robert Frost would have something to say about that. […]

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Mending Walls Can Save Lives

Robert Frost’s poems (as indicated by “Mending Wall,” which I wrote on yesterday) have the wonderful ability to move from the very specific to the universal.  One begins with a small incident (two neighbors fixing a stone wall) and, before one knows it, one is thinking deeply about the world–barriers between people, roads not taken, […]

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Fences, Good Neighbors, and Immigration

Will America’s most famous poem about fences give us any insight into the border problems we are currently experiencing with Mexico? Let’s take a look at it and find out. The poem I have in mind is, of course, Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Here it is:

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Earth, Love, Birches, and Ice Storms

I promised this post on Robert Frost’s “Birches” in the event that we have an ice storm.  I don’t know yet whether we will have one, but we had frozen rain for much of the night, and as I write this (Wednesday morning) we are being attacked by a blizzard.  So if I don’t arrange […]

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Snow Days Open Up Cracks in Time

An unusually heavy snowstorm has locked us into our homes these past few days, cancelling my Monday classes and locking down the county. Years ago, in an essay I’d love to find again, an author wrote about the “found time” of a snow day.   She noted that, because we normally believe we must make every […]

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You, Sir, Are No Jay Gatsby

  Everyone has something to say about Barack Obama, who has been the subject of non-stop scrutiny since last year’s Democratic primaries.  It therefore is not surprising that some would turn to literature to understand what he means.  Including, in recent weeks,  two New York Times columnists. Stanley Fish, the subject of three posts this […]

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Our Most Famous (and Most Misread) Poem

  Today I walk into my first classes after a year of sabbatical.  After having spent all day Friday meeting with new entering students and hearing about their  momentous decision (as they see it) to attend St. Mary’s, it makes sense for me to write on decision making. In what is arguably America’s most famous poem is about […]

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The Favorite Books of American Presidents

I’ve had fun discussing the reading of Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas over the last couple of days, and while I’ve come up dry on further posts about the Supreme Court and literature, it has given me the idea of periodically dipping into reading stories of other political figures. I’ll start a list here, beginning […]

Posted in Alexander (Elizabeth), Angelou (Maya), Bible, Camus (Albert), Carle (Eric), Dickey (James), Fleming (Ian), Frost (Robert), Marquez (Gabriel Garcia), Morrison (Toni), O'Neill (Joseph), Robinson (Edward Arlington), Service (Robert), Sheridan (Richard), Stendahl, Tolstoy (Leo), Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

After Apple-Picking, Then What?

So much of the poetry that comforts us in time of death is infused with images of nature, poems like (in my case) Mary Oliver’s “Lost Children,” Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Adonais, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Perhaps the reason is that, with death, our natural side asserts its primacy in a way that cannot […]

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