“The Collected Poems: Robert Frost”

Forgive me, but to my mind Robert Frost is no great time-traveller, his verse is stylistically too anchored in the past. I find it amazing that some of this vast collection was actually written in the Sixties, especially when you think about what had been going on in poetry (and literature in general) since the Second World War.

I admit I didn’t manage to get through it all – but seeing off “Steeple Bush”, “In the Clearing”, and part of “A Witness Tree” isn’t bad going. That’s getting on for a couple of hundred pages, so not a small sample by any means. Perhaps it’s telling that it’s taken me nearly 5 months to get that far.

There were some poems I liked, but these were in the minority. I was constantly distracted by the forced/false rhyming, the lack of the concrete, the blousiness. Where Frost strays into free verse, those pieces were much more to my taste.

I know Frost is revered by many, and I can understand that – but I doubt I’ll ever be a devotee.