Book of the Week #6

The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer (NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963)

"What must you think of a silence as long as this to a letter as good as that?" 
Thus begins the first letter of a this collection of correspondence from Robert Frost, one of New Hampshire's most beloved poets, to fellow poet (and critic) Louis Untermeyer. Reading the letters of a poet (or any other writer) often provides an insight into their creative process. This particular collection is full of Frost's thoughts on his life as a writer ("Your Post review encourages me to think I ought to keep writing. You believe in me and I do too. I wonder if we are both wrong." 3/13/1917); his reading ("...I think you overvalue [Archibald McLeish's] article. It is the prose of a college-educated and practiced publicist trying hard to think." 2/17/1935); and gardening advice ("And by the way I should hardly want to prescribe for your radishes without seeing them. I have always found it dangerous to prescribe for or treat radishes in absentia" 7/13/1918). I think it is too easy to put the great writers of the past on pedestalsand forget that they were real people. These letters introduce the reader to the man who was Robert Frost.

During February 2013 author Mary Robinette Kowal has issued a challenge to anyone willing to take it up: The Month of Letters Challenge. In honor of this challenge, all the books-of-the-week during February will be collections of correspondence. If you enjoy these types of books you may also want to check out the Postal Reading Challenge being hosted by The Indextrious Reader.

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