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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Life - 'It Goes On'

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 while recently driving and walking in the rugged countryside of western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.  I don’t think Frost ever visited there, but I’m sure if he had we would have had another great book of poems about the experience.

Frost was born 145 years ago in California (on March 26) but grew up and spent most of his life 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; 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 and named Poet Laureate of Vermont.  A great teacher, at some of America's greatest colleges, he liked to say that education is hanging around until you’ve caught on.  “I talk in order to understand,” he said.  “But I teach in order to learn.”

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