on writing

by Elaine Barry

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Published by Rutgers University Press                                                                             Part I "Frost As A Literary Critic"
New Brunswick, New Jersey (188 pgs)                                                                              pages 3 through 53 reprinted here  
Copyright 1973 by Rutgers University,                                                                             with permission of the publisher.
the State University of New Jersey
Note from the Frost Free Library
Elaine Barry's book Robert Frost on writing (1973) is primarily a collection of letters, prefaces, reviews, lectures and and interviews about and by Robert Frost. The poet reveals, in his own words, many of his thoughts on the art of writing poetry. The collection assembled by Ms. Barry is an invaluable account of Frost's ideas. She explains in her preface:
"These texts of Robert Frost's comments on writing make no pretence to comprehensiveness; with new letters and manuscript material still becoming available, the Frost canon is by no means stable enough or final enough for that. The aim has been rather to present the essence of Frost's aesthetic theories and critical judgments, while demonstrating the variety of his critical expression. Consequently, the interpretative analysis that accompanies the texts, though based on a larger body of evidence than is contained within them, offers no more than an introductory guideline to an important aspect of Frost's achievement. The focus will sharpen, and the appreciation broaden, as new evidence becomes available. But this, at least, is a start: a drawing together of statements and judgments that Frost left scattered in a multitude of writings, and a tentative analysis of the directions in which they point."


These pieces are not included here, however the entire book would be worth reading. In Part I of the book, Ms. Barry presents an excellent overview and distillation of the collected material in the book. These three essays are posted here for your information and enjoyment.
    Robert Frost on writing
    Part I

The Scope of Frost's Criticism

Frost as a Critical Theorist

Frost as a Practical Critic

Elaine Barry is an Associate Professor in the School of Literary, Visual and Performance Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

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"Then I arose and silently wandered home,"