Frost Bite

A recently discovered poem by Robert Frost has brought fame—and controversy—to an English student.

W. Andrew Ewell in Smithsonian Magazine:

Screenhunter_07_mar_08_1953When Robert Stilling, a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Virginia, began a research project last summer on poet Robert Frost, he expected, perhaps, to squeeze out a term paper or two from his research—not to be tossed under a media spotlight brighter than most scholars see in a lifetime.

While poring over the University of Virginia’s recently acquired Robert Frost collection—a collection so new that most of it had not yet been catalogued—Stilling noticed an inscription in the front of a copy of North of Boston that Frost had sent to his friend, the publisher Frederic Melcher, in 1918. Stilling determined that the inscribed poem, “War Thoughts at Home,” had never been published.

Frostpoem_1 After some consideration, Stilling decided to publish the poem, along with a short essay, in the Virginia Quarterly Review. VQR is available at most national bookstores chains, and Stilling felt it would gain more attention there than in a more narrowly focused academic journal.

He was right, it turns out. Too right. Frost’s celebrity, combined with the political timeliness of the unearthed war poem and Stilling’s role as a grad student sleuth, created the makings of “a good story,” says Stilling. “It was sort of a perfect storm.”

More here.  [Click on photo of poem to enlarge.]