The Collected Prose of Robert Frost


Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.76 X 1.06 X 9.26 inches | 1.52 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is this country's best-loved poet. His work epitomizes the American affinity for plain speaking, nature, and the land. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on four different occasions, and also served as Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress.
Mark Richardson is Professor of English at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. He is the author of The Ordeal of Robert Frost: The Poet and his Poetics. He has also edited Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays and Robert Frost in Context (Cambridge, 2014).


Frost was a highly prolific if disorganized, writer of prose, penning pieces for newspapers, magazines and events that were never collected in book form during his life. Following "The Notebooks of Robert Frost," this volume brings together all the prose written for publication by America's most famous poet...Frost's earthy voice and rigorous intellect are on full display in this essential book for poetry lovers.
The book's chronological order and broad scope provide the reader with a full view of Frost's prose. Richardson's real contribution to the field of Frost literature is his enlightening notes section.--Paolina Taglienti"Library Journal" (02/01/2008)
This book contains a lot of interesting and important insights into poetry, into the processes of poetic composition and poetic form, poetic influence and structure and meaning...This is the first collection of Frost's prose--the stories, the lectures, the prefaces, the essays--and is a significant addition to the long and growing shelf of Frost scholarly editions and criticisms...There is page after page in the "Collected Prose" of this slightly grand and teasing and ironic sort of talk...Reading the prose, finding him saying one thing in terms of another, the pleasure of ulteriority is ours also. In the "Collected Prose" we find, to borrow a phrase from his poem "Two Tramps in Mud Time," "The lurking frost in the earth beneath."--Ian Sansom"The Guardian" (01/12/2008)
An untidy but wonderful heap of introductions, dedications, lists, autobiographical sketches and aphorisms. There are stories for children and pieces for presidential inaugurations.--Niall Griffiths"Daily Telegraph" (01/19/2008)
A meticulously edited collection of Frost's prose.--Christopher Benfey"New York Review of Books" (12/04/2008)
One's overwhelming impression, on finishing the book, is of respectful love: Richardson's for Frost, and Frost's for the English language. If this love comes joined to an ironic wit in both cases, that is all to the good. The portrait of Frost that Richardson conveys in his introduction is alone worth the price of the book, for it seizes on precisely those moments when the poet revealed both his sense of vocation and his sense of comedy. No doubt he could not have had one without the other; and this volume, despite its chicken-farming stories (one of which is actually quite good), should go some way toward dispelling the image of Robert Frost as a platitudinous, straw-chewing naif.--Wendy Lesser"Bookforum" (04/01/2008)
By turns gnomic and practical, his thoughts on the writing process, the importance to poetry of sound--"The surest way to reach the heart is through the ear"--and his distinction of metre and rhythm might not amount to a primer, but are essential for anyone interested in the art.--Stephen Knight"The Independent" (12/07/2008)
Mark Richardson has given us the fullest critical edition of Frost's prose ever published, including everything "Frost is known to have prepared for print, major and minor items alike." Beginning with pieces he wrote while in high school, "The Collected Prose of Robert Frost" presents his stories, speeches, talks and essays. Examples of his wit and insight abound.--Ron Charles"Washington Post Book World" (04/20/2008)
Mark Richardson has brought together, in one meticulously edited volume, all the articles, introductions, press releases, and lectures, along with some especially significant letters, which Frost himself readied for print but never saw fit to publish...Frost's startling insights into the poetic process, as well as his frequent jokes, are all the more effective for being bluntly delivered...[Richardson's] extensive notes offer a wealth of information, often drawn from unpublished sources, which wonderfully illuminate Frost's intentions.--Eric Ormsby"New York Sun" (02/13/2008)
This [is a] welcome edition of Frost's prose, 76 items ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, edited by Mark Richardson in exemplary fashion...One hundred years later we have not taken the measure of many of the radical thoughts that fill these meditative monologues.--William H. Pritchard"Boston Globe" (03/02/2008)
The book follows Frost from high school to the grave and includes not only important statements on his art but a great many minor curiosities that show the kind of prose chores the contemporary poet must undertake.--George Fetherling"Seven Oaks" (04/08/2008)
Mark Richardson...has an alert and discriminating mind. In the course of his 130 pages of explanatory notes, Mr. Richardson had the wit to include selections from conversations with Frost that Frost's biographer, Lawrance Thompson, wrote down but unaccountably didn't include or take into consideration for the biography...Even though Frost is the least obviously obscure and difficult of the major 20th-century American poets, he is also the least clearly understood of them, perhaps because of the enduring darkness and confusion that he asks us to accept...and accept with grace. It should also be said of these writings that Frost is a very natural and elegant prose stylist in many forms, not least in the charming and light-fingered, sleight-of-hand stories, included here, that he wrote for his own children. In or out of prose, he honors our lonely freedom enough to leave many sayings for his reader to finish for himself.--Robert Ganz"Washington Times" (03/02/2008)
Taken as a whole, this prose collection is a delightful miscellany...And how wonderful to have this--short fiction by a young Robert Frost! In these stories, the personality of Frost's New Englander begins to appear, the philosophical, laconic, chthonic fellow we see in the later-published narrative poetry like "Home Burial" and "Death of the Hired Man" and "Two Tramps in Mud Time."--Louis B. Jones"Threepenny Review" (01/01/2011)
As a near-comprehensive, definitive, and convenient edition of Frost's prose, "The Collected Prose of Robert Frost" is an invaluable tool. Its critical introduction and notes are superb--graceful, perspicacious, focused, discriminating, and deeply informed. This edition offers accurate texts and more of Frost's prose than has been gathered elsewhere. It will be definitive.--David Cowart, University of South Carolina
A major contribution to the field, "The Collected Prose of Robert Frost" is a first-rate work of editorial scholarship, that gains from the editor's comprehensive and intimate familiarity with Frost's life and work, as well as with the vast secondary literature on both. The textual notes provide the best and in many cases, only available account of the textual history of Frost's prose. This volume will fill an important need for anyone interested in Frost's poetry and prose.--Jonathan Levin, author of "The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism"