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Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Dwight Ward, Oct 7, 2020.
Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher
"Probably no other American poet has suffered more misunderstanding at the hands of his readers, admirers and detractors alike, than Robert Frost. The range and variety of misreadings of both the man and his poetry are legion: he was simply a nature poet, child of the Romantics; a clever versifier with little depth; a genial country wit; a moral monster; a cranky, iconoclastic reactionary against modernity, and so on".
"The problem of understanding this complex man and poet was vastly compounded by the publication of Lawrance Thompson’s three volume biography, authorized by Frost himself, which portrayed much of the poet’s life, his thought and his poetry in a glaringly simplistic and often negative light".
Reviews of his work
"We should first examine cummings's overall reputation, since his poetry has often been described in absolute positive or negative terms, especially in the first half of his career when he wrote "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond." Cummings's unique structural style and unconventional use of punctuation was disturbing to many of his contemporary critics, and people tended to either love his poetry or hate it. As R. P. Blackmur notes in his influential 1931 article for the Hound & Horn, "Critics have commonly said, when they understood Mr. Cummings' vocabulary at all, that he has enriched the language with a new idiom." At the same time, Blackmur also indicates that the "typographical peculiarities" of Cummings's poetry "have caught and irritated public attention." The negativity aimed toward cummings's poetry can also be seen, indirectly, in the relative lack of formal criticism of the poet, especially during these early decades".
"In subsequent decades, as more poets began to employ unconventional forms and techniques, cummings's reputation also improved. As Robert E. Maurer notes in his 1955 article for the Bucknell Review, "It is unfortunate that most of the critical appraisals of Cummings' poetry were made early, shortly after his first books were published." Maurer disputes the idea that cummings did not know poetic rules, and so chose to use gimmicks in his writing. Maurer says, "He is instead a prime example of the old adage that an artist must know all the rules before he can break them." Likewise, in E. E. Cummings: An Introduction to the Poetry (1979), Rushworth M. Kidder notes that "It is important to recognize … that the spatial arrangements of [cummings'] poems are the work neither of a whimsical fancy nor a lust for novelty."
I think "Big Ed's A Coming" was written by S. Scott.
I don't know that much about poets or poetry. I may have said on an occasion or two that I like e.e. cummings.
If I did say I like him I did so because my son likes him. My son on occasion teaches a poetry class or has in
the past. I have read poems that spoke to me and I tried to remember them or at least remember the poet, but
I am not good at many things so most often I don't remember. I don't think I could name five poets. I might if my
life depended on it and I had sufficient time. So it could be readily said I'm not too much into poetry. Suppose
I'm something that one might call a dumb bunny. Or I know less about more things than anybody.
@Bill Boggs: . What did you think of the poem by Amanda Gorman at the inauguration yesterday?
I really liked it, but confess I had to listen to it 4-5 times. I am slow to comprehend things, written or verbal. Always have been. I'm a dumb bunny that way.
This girl impressed me. I liked her delivery. It had a rhythm. Would I like the next thing she writes? Maybe not. I have favorite poems, but not favorite poets.
I didn't hear it all when she delivered it because of background noise but I liked the cadence. But afterwards I looked it up and read it a couple of times. I liked it.
I read it to my wife who too didn't understand it when first read. She too appreciated the poem and thought it especially good coming from a twenty-two year old girl.