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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Teaching To Learn

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life:  it goes on.” – Robert Frost

I’ve always loved the poetry of Robert Frost and thought about his imagery and attention to the land whenever I’ve driven through or walked in the rugged countryside of western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming or my beloved Black Hills.  I don’t think Frost ever visited them, but I’m sure if he had we would have had another book full of poems to love thanks to his great writing.

Frost was born during the last week of March 1874, growing up in New England.  His realistic depictions of rural life, the beauty of the land, and command of American colloquial speech – all while examining complex social and philosophical themes – may never be equaled.   Poetry is a simple process, he liked to say.  It's just an emotion finding a thought and the thought finding its words.
Like every writer he hit dry periods, but unlike many he had something to say about that.  “Poets,” he noted, “are like baseball pitchers.  Both have their moments.  It’s the intervals that are the tough things.”                 
                                                 The only poet to win four Pulitzer Prizes, he also was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, named Poet Laureate of Vermont, and by being depicted on a U.S. postage stamp.   A great teacher, he once said,  “I talk in order to understand.   But I teach in order to learn.”

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