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Quotations From ROBERT FROST


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  • A poem ... begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.... It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. letter, Jan. 1, 1916, to poet and anthologist Louis Untermeyer. The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer (1963).

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  • You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He is more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).

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  • A light he was to no one but himself.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. An Old Man's Winter Night (l. 15). . . The Poetry of Robert Frost. Edward Connery Lathem, ed. (1979) Henry Holt.

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  • You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Atlantic (Boston, Jan. 1962).
  • Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Address, May 17, 1935, Milton Academy, Massachusetts.
  • People are inexterminable—like flies and bed-bugs. There will always be some that survive in cracks and crevices—that's us.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Quoted in Observer (London, March 29, 1959).

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  • You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).

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  • Pressed into service means pressed out of shape.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. The Self-Seeker, North of Boston (1914).
  • Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Vogue (New York, March 14, 1963).

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  • Poetry is what is lost in translation.
    Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. Quoted in Robert Frost: a Backward Look, ch. 1, Louis Untermeyer (1964). Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, in Biographia Literaria (1817), ch. 22: "In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning."

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