Like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Robert Frost looms large in the American literary landscape, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries like a poetic colossus: whosoever desires passage must, at some point, contend with the monolithic presence of Robert Frost. As they did in Visiting Emily and Visiting Walt, in Visiting Frost, Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro once again capture the conversations between contemporary poets and a legend whose voice endures.
In his introduction to the collection, Frost biographer Jay Parini likens the poet to a “great power station, one who stands off by himself in the big woods, continuously generating electricity that future poets can tap into for the price of a volume of his poems.” A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose work is principally associated with the landscape and life in New England, Frost (1874-1963) was a traditional, psychologically complex, often dark and intense poet. In Visiting Frost, one hundred homage-paying poets—some who knew Frost, most only acquainted through his work—celebrate and reflect that intensity, in effect tapping into his electrical current.
By reacting to specific Frost poems, by reinventing others, and by remembering aspects of Frost or by quarreling with him, the contributors speak on behalf of us whose lives have been brightened by the memorization and recitation of such poems as “The Road Not Taken” or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” As the poets pay tribute to Frost’s place in American poetry and history, they suggest—more than forty years after his death—just how alive and vital he remains in our collective memory.
“In this delightful anthology of more than one hundred poems by some of America's finest poets, we see just how deeply Robert Frost’s voice has forever upon their voices crossed. Readers will treasure the riches and surprises of this inspired book, one which is truly a tribute to the source.”—Robert Faggen, Claremont McKenna College
“There is a singer everyone has heard, and that singer is Robert Frost. He had a lovely, strong, passionate, idiosyncratic, violent, sharp, deep, whimsical, witty, and wise voice. The reality presented by this anthology is that many gifted poets have listened to his songs, and they have found the tunes marvelous, and they have chosen to respond to those airs in their own measure, in their own strong voices. In this there is cause for celebration.”—Jay Parini, from the foreword
Marvin Bell, Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hayden Carruth, Peter Davison, Annie Finch, James Galvin, Thom Gunn, Galway Kinnell, Maxine Kumin, David Lehman, Robert Lowell, Peter Meinke, Howard Nemerov, Muriel Rukeyser, Mary Jo Salter, Floyd Skloot, William Stafford, and Richard Wilbur.