So in just a few weeks we set off for Canada and the USA for six whole months. I've been to Canada before (in 2003) and even Central America before (Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 1987) but I have never set even a tiny bit of a foot in the U.S. of A. Perhaps because of this I've been drawn very much to poems, books and music of that country recently and so I found myself the other day, for example, dawdling over some Robert Frost. Assuming I've got the right poet, he looked like this (though he was generally more successful as a teacher and writer than a farmer, despite the pic and the rural poems – see life story here):
I've mentioned Frost on here before – he's in my 'influence' list back here, he was the source of my memorable line back here and he even made it into a poem back here. His poems are probably the first I remember enjoying at school and none more so than "The Death of the Hired Man". It's a quite long narrative poem and this reminds me that I've been wanting to try and write one of those myself. At the folk club here (where I've done a lot of readings) I know they would enjoy narrative poems (they enjoy narrative songs after all) and yet I've still to really try one out. Maybe that's something I'll have a go at whilst we're away and on the road.
Anyway, you can read the text of "The Death of the Hired Man" here and more excitingly perhaps you can hear Frost read it (and lots of other poems) here (in particular "West-Running Brook" and "The Death of the Hired Man" are here). I can't say they're the best readings I've ever heard (rushed... lack of drama... was he late for a bus or needing the loo or something?) but still, they are the man himself (so I'm told). To hear them best I'd advise listening in headphones too - bit fuzzy over speakers for me.
Now, who else shall I pick from the land of the, er, free?
San Juan and Masca
1 hour ago