Amy Lowell on Robert Frost
There's Frost with his blueberry pastures and hills
All peopled by folk who have so many ills
'Tis a business to count 'em, their subtle insanities.
One half are sheer mad, and the others inanities.
He'll paint you a phobia quick as a wink
Stuffed into a hay-mow or tied to a sink.
And then he'll deny, with a certain rich rapture,
The very perversion he's set out to capture.
Were it not for his flowers, and orchards, and skies,
One would think the poor fellow was blind of both eyes
Or had never read Freud, but it's only his joke.
If we're looking for cheer, he's a pig in a poke.
But he's such a good chap, he is welcome to say
Tweedledum's Tweedledee if he's feeling that way.
When he calls a thing yellow and you know it is pink,
Why, you've purchased his book and you're welcome to think.
He's a foggy benignity wandering in space
With a stray wisp of moonlight just touching his face,
Descending to earth when a certain condition
Reminds him that even a poet needs nutrition,
Departing thereafter to rarefied distances
Quite unapproachable to those persistencies,
The lovers of Lions, who shout at his tail --
At least so he says -- when he comes within hail.
Majestic, remote, a quite beautiful pose,
(Or escape, or indulgence, or all three, who knows?)
Set solidly up in a niche like an oracle
Dispensing replies which he thinks categorical.
No wonder he cleaves to his leafy seclusion,
Barricading his door to unlawful intrusion,
The goal of the fledgling, a god in a thicket,
To be viewed only Tuesdays and Fridays by ticket.
Yet note, if you please, this is but one degree
Of Frost, there are more as you'll presently see,
And some of them are so vexatiously teasing
All this stored heat is needed to keep him from freezing.
from "A Fable for Critics" by Amy Lowell (1922).
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