Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review-The Road Not Taken and Other Poems (This Edition, 1993) by Robert Frost

I decided I needed to stretch my brain a little and read something beyond my traditional material. (See the list of books on the right side below.) Poetry was of interest to me.

It's amazing how we mature over time. In high school and college I had absolutely no interest in poetry. I didn't like the form, the need for interpretation or in many cases the sing-songy nature of the writing. Now I do wonder if the real reason for my dislike was that I was forced to read the classics in my basic literature and English courses, rather than poetry that actually would have been of interest to me.

Not knowing where to start, I happened to be with my brother Mike at a great bookstore in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio called The Book Loft. Mike has his PHD in English and is a professor of same at Indiana University, Pennsylvania. Who better to recommend some poetry to begin my journey into the genre.

I bought several books that day, and interestingly enough chose a classic to read first. The Road Not Taken and Other Poems (1993 edition) was originally published as Mountain Interval in 1916 and is considered one of the best collections of Robert Frost poetry. The poem that lends it's name to the title of the collection, The Road Not Taken, is one of Robert Frost's most popular works.

My brother Mike did me right when he recommended this collection. It's a rather small volume (49 pages, a total of 28 poems) but an enjoyable read. I am no student of style, but I know what I like. Robert Frost forces you to think as you read his work. But I also observed that the genius of Robert Frost is that if you want to read his poetry just for a literal interpretation or for pure enjoyment you can do that too.

There were a couple of poems I found to be most intriguing in this collection:

- "Out, Out-" A shocking departure from many of the other poems in the book. A story of a buzz-saw accident.

- "Snow" The story of a man who has the need to preach, and won't let a snowstorm keep him from his travels. Actually this poem is better described as the story of his friends and family who question his judgement. Quite chilling and suspenseful.

I would imagine that most readers who enjoy poetry have read this collection, or most of the poems in it. If you are wanting to discover poetry, or are just looking for a good read, this is the book to start with.

The Road Not Taken and Other PoemsThe Road Not Taken and Other Poems by Robert Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to stretch myself a bit and read some poetry-a great collection to start with? My full review:

View all my reviews


Liza Day said...

I've heard of the book, but have not read it. You have peeked my interest. Nice review! Thanks!

Jiresell said...

Thanks for the comment-worth a read for sure.