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8 responses to “Robert Frost, Grouch”

  1. Frisky doesn’t come to mind with Robert Frost. In fact, I don’t think frisky ought to be used to describe any grown man unless he’s really a cat.

  2. you know, Lisa Eudaemonia and I have this ongoing conversation about Frost. I think he was pretty crochety and dark (in a wonderful way). Cf “Stopping by Woods,” or just a slightly closer look at “The Road Less Traveled.” Yeah.

  3. I’ve always heard that the most expressive artists are found to be either the most maudlin in real life or the real sons of bitches…Of course I can’t think of any examples right now (maybe James Thurber or Charles Schultz). But I wonder if that is the reason they can be both at the same time. If you’ve been a parent you can be the most unfair, mean and cruel person in one minute and the most compassionate of souls the next. That’s the lovely thing about humanity or the worst. Giving birth to your art is draining as so many of your contributors point out, and can leave you with a permanent case of enlightenment of your art/depression of the observation of real life. But such is life, I guess.

  4. [...] hope. The rest of the world can seem so jaded in contrast. When people carp at America I think of the Robert Frost poem The Importer – sometimes reviled as racist and certainly not fashionable nowadays – that hits back with wit and, [...]

  5. Quality and adeptness of communication, whether via words or music or visual shapes, has a lot to do with both focus and sheer skill and adeptness. It does not have to be an expression of inner personal truth, just very well done.
    “I’m not a doctor; I just play one on TV!” It’s hard for an audience to separate the role from the person, but that’s exactly what makes a superb actor, for example. Some get famous and wealthy for repeating a single performance with minor variations, as one-note wonders, but its the versatile and multi-faceted ones who are the geniuses. And they may be nothing like any of those personas when they’re at home.

    So a bitter, agonized, near-martinet like Beethoven can write the inspired Ode to Joy in the advanced stages of lead poisoning and deafness. But Vienna loved him anyway.

  6. Easy enough to understand if you summarize the story:
    –Back from Asia comes Mrs. Someone
    –She has lots of “art” and a new criticism of America
    America, she says, has lost its soul to mass production while Asians do handwork.
    –It’s our way of avoiding the spiritual truths of Asia (sound somewhat like all the aficionados of Tibetan culture?)
    –America has doomed its soul with skyscrapers and other such material stuff
    –to show Asian spirituality she brings home a prayer wheel powered by the flow in her brook
    –it uses a primitive engine to mass produce what–prayers!
    –we have nothing to teach the Asians about mass production; they already do it with prayers

    All this, of course, before the Asians really got started in mass production for Nike and Walmart.

    The poem is a take off on the still fashionable praise of Asians as more spiritual and less material.

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