Literature & literary studies:

Stopping by Woods

Robert Frost as New England Naturalist


Paperback / softback

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Stopping by Woods by Owen D.V. Sholes

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Robert Frost gave us a vivid and compelling narrative of New England's changing environment, but few people are aware that the narrative exists. It can be hard to find because it is scattered through hundreds of poems, and comes to us in multiple voices with multiple moods and in no particular order. This book will help readers piece the narrative together. Robert Frost was a practicing farmer, a skilled naturalist and one of America's best-loved poets. His keen observations, crystalline descriptions and stunning metaphors made things obvious that had previously been hidden. Each poem reveals something new about the natural and environmental history of New England. There are homesteads carved out of the forest, families making their living from an obdurate land, property being abandoned because nobody would buy it, and plants and animals reclaiming deserted farms. Frost bemoaned the loss of people from the land, but also celebrated the flora and fauna that thrived in fallow fields and empty barns. As we read his poetry, Frost invites us to become participants in the story of an ever-changing landscape.

Author Biography

Owen Sholes is a professor of biology at Assumption College and the author of articles on ecology, environmental history, and the poetry of Robert Frost. He lives in Rutland, Massachusetts.
Release date NZ
October 30th, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
McFarland & Co Inc
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