DoNorth

Robert Frost’s Local Connection

Robert Frost Way in Peru, New York, is definitely a road less traveled. It is a short, meandering cove gilded by an army of trees that almost erases its entire existence. Its namesake is a reference to the famous poet himself and what he embodied. Frost may have contemplated “nature versus man” in that very spot. Whether you’re waltzing down the tree-covered trail in Peru or getting lost in the works of Frost found around the city of Plattsburgh, the famous poet’s words will encourage people to close their eyes and look within to understand where they are going. The…

Robert Frost Way in Peru, New York, is definitely a road less traveled. It is a short, meandering cove gilded by an army of trees that almost erases its entire existence. Its namesake is a reference to the famous poet himself and what he embodied. Frost may have contemplated “nature versus man” in that very spot.

Whether you’re waltzing down the tree-covered trail in Peru or getting lost in the works of Frost found around the city of Plattsburgh, the famous poet’s words will encourage people to close their eyes and look within to understand where they are going.

The poet’s many achievements include multi-Pulitzer Prize pieces such as “The Gift Outright” from his collection A Witness Tree, as well as being named poet laureate of Vermont by the state legislature. Elsewhere in Plattsburgh, New York, Frost would often visit a close friend of his — Edward “Doc” Redcay, the acting president of Plattsburgh State — during summers in the 1950s. With Redcay’s guidance, Frost would speak publicly to those who sought out his wisdom from time to time.

Fortunately, one of those times was recorded.

Kept in Special Collections at Plattsburgh State’s Feinberg Library, a recording of an 85-year-old Frost lecturing a group of his peers in the summer of 1959 is still available for public listening today. It is a tool for visitors to learn more about this treasured writer. The poet gets down to the root of his proficiency, what poetry actually is — “A combination of thought and feeling, of course, the poetry is,” he says as if evoking Yoda. “It is that which is lost out of both prose and verse in translation.”

While listening to the recording, longing poets can visit the campus’ Redcay Hall. There hangs a framed poem between the portraits of Redcay and his wife Lillian that the couple wrote while getting married. Above the poem is a quote by Frost that reads, “Miles to go and promises to keep”. Whether you’re waltzing down the tree-covered trail in Peru or getting lost in the works of Frost found around the city of Plattsburgh, the famous poet’s words will encourage people to close their eyes and look within to understand where they are going.

Issue 5: Summer/Spring 2015

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