Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Art of Robert Frost

'Modest blogger', like 'honest politician', is an oxymoron rarely encountered. So I won't apologise for promoting The Art of Robert Frost on its US publication date. It is also available in the UK. The book combines 65 of Frost's poems with my introduction and detailed close readings, and has been beautifully produced by Yale University Press.

To cleanse the palette, let me finish by promoting someone else's work. Simon Turner has a new blog called Battle Lines, which will devote itself to 'the poetry, fiction, memoirs and journalism of conflict, from WW1 to the present day.' Highly recommended.


  1. Congratulations, Tim! I'm looking forward to reading it.

  2. [OrangeReviewStar] Library Journal Arts & Humanities Reviews, June 15, 2012

    Kendall, Tim. The Art of Robert Frost. Yale Univ. 2012. c.408p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300118131. $35. LIT

    Kendall (English, Univ. of Exeter; Sylvia Plath) traces the development of core themes throughout the work of Robert Frost. The selection of poems addressed is based on “quality and variety” and covers the range of Frost’s career, but the majority were written between 1890 and 1920. Each of the included poems is followed by a brief essay demonstrating Kendall’s phenomenal abilities. In a page or two, he provides complete analysis of structure, language, and motifs in an easily accessible way. He even manages to incorporate other Frost scholars for perspective and identifies Frost’s influences to provide context. Experts and novices alike will gain great insight into—and better understanding of—Frost’s works. VERDICT Kendall is a masterful critic and teacher. Any fan or student of Robert Frost or of poetry in general should pick this up immediately. Also, those who struggle with understanding poetry will find in this work a guide not only to interpreting Frost, but to developing close reading skills.—Paolina Taglienti, Everest College, Henderson, NV

  3. Schulz on the Terrors and Pleasures of Robert Frost
    By Kathryn Schulz

    '. . . Kendall’s book is an unusual hybrid, part anthology, part critical study: 65 poems with two or three pages of understated, illuminating commentary about each. It’s a good way to revisit Frost—and, per Frost, revisiting him is precisely what we should do. Kendall quotes this passage as the epigraph to his book: “A poem is best read in the light of all the other poems ever written. We read A the better to read B (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something more out of A.”'

  4. It's nice that your willing to promote other blogs. Some blog owners want attention so bad they will try everything they can to not refer people out to other blogs.

  5. I can't recommend The Art of Robert Frost highly enough. Literary critics so often dress up their ideas with pseudo-scientific nonsense and just end up arguing with themselves. But Tim's close readings are coherent, informed and interesting. I enjoy Frost's work far more after reading this book. (North of Boston has to be one of the best books I've ever read.) Thank you!