9781412810715

Conversations with Robert Frost: The Bread Loaf Period

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781412810715

  • ISBN10:

    141281071X

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-10-30
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

These core conversations between Peter Stanlis and RobertFrost occurred during 1939-1941. They are writtenin the much larger context of nearly a quarter century offriendship that ended only with the passing of Frost in1963. These discussions provide a unique window of opportunityto appreciate the sources of Frostís philosophicalvisions, as well as his poetic interests. The discussionsbetween Stanlis and Frost were held between six consecutivesummers (1939-1944), when Stanlis was a student atthe Bread Loaf Graduate School of English. These wereaugmented by additional exchanges at Bread Loaf in1961-1962. These conversations provide original insightson important subjects common to both men.Frost insisted that it was impossible to make a completeor final unity out of the conflicts between spirit and matter.Ordinary empirical experience and rational discursivereason and logic could not harmonize basic conflicts.He held that the best method to ameliorate apparentcontradictions in dualistic conflicts was through the"play" of metaphorical thinking and feeling. Metaphorsincluded parables, allegories, fables, images, symbols,irony, and the forms and techniques of poetry such asrhyme, rhythm, assonance, dissonance, personifications,and connotations.These are the arsenal from which poets draw theirinsightful metaphors, but such metaphors are also thecommon property of every normal person. A poem is "amomentary stay against confusion," a form of revelationfor "a clarification of life," but not a final, absolute answerto the mysteries and complexities in manís life on Earth.So too-at their best-are science, religion, philosophy,education, politics, and scholarship as a means of amelioratinghuman problems.

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