One of America's most beloved poets, Robert Frost, is unique in that he is one of the few, quote-unquote, "serious" poets of the twentieth century who was appreciated by both adults and children. In the nineteenth century, poets like Longfellow and Poe - writing in rhyming verse - were readily accessible and admired by the young. At the turn of the century however, with the rising popularity of free verse, rhyming couplets fell out of fashion. By the middle of the 1900s, about the only poets writing in rhyme were those who did so when specifically writing for children, like Dr. Seuss, and, LATER, Shel Silverstien.
But Robert Frost, in his simple New England farmer fashion, did not feel that serious poetry was debased by the occasional lyric rhyme.
The Woods are lovely dark and deep
The Wright Brothers Biplane
He has dust in his eyes and a fan for a wing,
There is something hopeful and comforting in Robert Frost, and a strength or resilience that shines through - like a wood fire on a cold winter night as one hopes for spring in frozen New England. It is a youthful voice and perhaps just one more reason children continue to appreciate his poems. In his own youth, the fire and promise were there as well. Frost's first poem, written at age fourteen ends with,
For darkness of that murky night
Copyright © 2001 by Kevin Shortsleeve
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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:23:53 EDT