Vermont Reads 2008: Robert Frost

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VPR continues its five-year collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council to support its one-book state-wide, community reading program: Vermont Reads. 

For 2008, the Council has selected; A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost by Natalie S. Bober.

VPR’s special 5-part series features different aspects of Robert Frost’s life and work in addition to samples of his poetry from the book. 

Click here to share your thoughts and memories of Robert Frost

Part One: Family Life

One of Robert Frost’s books of poetry is titled North of Boston. And just as his poetry is full of references to the region, so too is the region full of reminders of his life here. Author Natalie Bober and Frost’s grandaughter Robin Fraser Hudnut talk of his family life in New England.  Click here to listen to Part One.



Part Two: A Sense of Place

Frost spent five years and many summers in Franconia, New Hampshire. The executive director of the Frost Place, Jim Schley, says it’s one place the poet’s family, including his wife Elinor, was entirely happy, and that helped create a fruitful period for Frost.  Click here to listen to Part Two.


Part Three: An Unconventional Teacher

In 1917 Robert Frost began teaching English at Amherst College in Massachusetts. And as author Natalie Bober observes, his methods were unconventional. Click here to listen to Part Three.





Part Four: Conflict and Contradiction

Frost’s poems appear simple and accessible through his use of natural imagery and every-day speech. But, they are complex in both structure and meaning. Likewise, Frost’s life – on the surface – appeared to be that of a fairly simple man. in fact, his life – as a poet, farmer and teacher – was full of conflict and contradiction.  Click here to listen to Part Four.


Part Five: The Legacy

Until recently, if you asked someone what they knew about Robert Frost, they might describe seeing him on television, his white hair ruffled by the wind at JFK’s inauguration. Or they might recall a poem of his they had learned in school. And to Middlebury professor of English John Elder, that’s a good indication of Frost’s legacy.  Click here to listen to Part Five.




Top Photo: AP Photo

Part One Photo: George H. Browne Robert Frost Collection, Michael J. Spinelli, Jr. Center for University Archives and Special Collections, Herbert H. Lamson Library and Learning Commons, Plymouth State University

Part Two, Three, Four & Five Photos: Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.  Item Located in Rauner Special Collections Library.


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