HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged
Author: Robert Frost
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., 1979
ISBN-13: 978-0805005028 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0805005021 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0030491269 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0030491266 Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 14 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Frost, Robert. The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged (published in 1979 by Henry Holt and Co.). When I was in high school chorus, during my senior year (1972) we sang a song in which composer Randall Thompson set to music a poem entitled “Choose Something Like a Star,” beginning, “O Star (the fairest one in sight), We grant your loftiness the right To some obscurity of cloud—It will not do to say of night, Since dark is what brings out your light,” written by poet Robert Frost. The song was taken from Thompson’s Frostiana: Seven Country Songs, all poems by Frost, originally for mixed chorus and piano composed in 1959, which Thompson later scored for chamber orchestra and chorus. We also read several of Frost’s other poems in various English classes during different years of school.
Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet who is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. One of the most popular and critically respected American poets of the twentieth century, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.
The Collected Poems is the only comprehensive volume of Robert Frost’s published verse. In it are the contents of all eleven of his individual books of poetry–from A Boy’s Will (1913) to In the Clearing (1962), plus his two dramatic Masques. The editor, Edward Connery Lathem, has scrupulously annotated the more than 350 poems in this book. Put out by Frost’s long-time publisher, this is one of the essential books of American literature. The other Frost poems used by Thompson in Frostiana are “The Road Not Taken,” “The Pasture,” “Come In,” “The Telephone,” “A Girl’s Garden,” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Some of Frost’s poetry is a little obtuse, but while I am not a big fan of poetry, I have enjoyed much of Frost’s work.