ROBERT FROST AND JOHN BARTLETT by Margaret Bartlett Anderson


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Another round of reminiscences about Robert Frost; the current one concerns the poet's formative friendship with John Bartlett, a writer of business books and a free-lancer of sorts, as recorded by the latter's daughter. Considerably more personal than the recent memorabilia Louis Untermeyer marketed, it is, as far as Frost's literary aspects go, considerably less important too. Most of the material includes ever-before-published letters from Frost to his friend. ""You were the best pupil I ever had"", wrote Frost remembering the early 1900's and teaching days at Pinkerton academy in New Hampshire. There are also letters from Frost's wife to Bartlett's (""The urrants and raspberries are just getting ripe. We have had a number of pleasant incics""). Actually it's all as sincere as a scrapbook, and as slight. But sweet. Much thru-the-years everyday detail of travels (Colorado, Vancouver) and troubles, of taking-ends-meet and miscarriages, of ""touching bottom"" and home truths, of anti-Roosevelt swipes and the Wars. There's Frost's cranky concern over Carol, his problem child: ""You can't put ambition into boys. It's up to them to take hold, to catch on to life"". Carol committed suicide. And Frost pumping pep into Bartlett's psyche: My notion is that your work is coming on. Your style tightens up"". And Frost turning own lectures if he felt somebody was trying to ""get me cheap"". Also some off-the uff comments on Frost's London years and the Georgians. The book's last line: Things of the heart live on"". Well, maybe.

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston