19 October 2011

Robert Frost in South Shaftsbury and Bennington, Vermont: Literary New England #11

'ROBERT FROST STONE HOUSE MUSEUM
a literary landmark
So. Shaftsbury, Vermont

Founded by Carole J. Thompson and Dr. Peter J. Stanlis
September 29, 2002

With special thanks to our major donors [etc.]'

The front of the house Robert Frost lived in from 1920 to 1929.

The back of the house.

And back and side elevation.

The present museum is divided into three galleries, the first being the Robert Frost Room, which contains details of Frost's biography and several other features. The above bust of Frost is in bronze and was made by Leo Cherne in 1962. It is on loan from Elinor Frost Wilber.

A note about the sofa reads that this was originally in Robert Frost's town house in Cambridge, MA and passed through a few family hands until Frost's great-grandson Douglas Wilber gave it to the Stone House in 2008.

This was Frost's wife Elinor's rocking chair.

The central hall is dedicated to J. J. Lankes, a woodcut artist with whom Frost originally collaborated on a poem, leading to a long working relationship and lifelong friendship.

A few examples of Lankes's work for Frost.

Finally, I found the 'Stopping by Woods' room the most interesting. Frost wrote his famous 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' in 1922 in this room while working on the title poem of his book New Hampshire.

The museum handout states that Frost said he wrote the poem 'pretty much at one stroke', although this manuscript replica, with all the poet's emendations, shows that Frost was exaggerating a little.

The entire room, as its title suggests, is dedicated to this poem, and along with details of Frost's iambic verse and his rhyming structure, there are details of Edward Connery Lathem's editing of Frost's punctuation.

On a far less serious note, there are also examples of parodies of the well known poem.

And a Christmas card of the poem designed by Frost's grand-daughter Robin Fraser Hudnut for her aunt Jeanne Fraser Blackford.

In the center of the room, Frost's original chest of drawers that was in this room.
Still in Vermont, although a few miles down the road in Bennington, is the town cemetery with the Frost family grave.

'ROBERT LEE FROST
MAR. 26, 1874 – JAN. 29, 1963
"I HAD A LOVER'S QUARREL WITH THE WORLD."'

Elinor died a number of years before him:

'ELINOR MIRIAM WHITE
OCT. 25, 1873 – MAR. 20, 1938
"TOGETHER WING TO WING AND OAR TO OAR."'

And their children.

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