The Brits Love Robert Frost Now, Too
Well, this is a bit awkward. Robert Frost, a veritable American institution among American poets—a figure so American that he won the Congressional Gold Medal—has crossed the pond.
Well, this is a bit awkward. Robert Frost, a veritable American institution among American poets—a figure so American that he won the Congressional Gold Medal—has crossed the pond: he's a British institution now, too, it seems.
Or so says a BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please, where a producer has declared that "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," arguably the most iconic work by the New England poet, has been the most frequently requested poem since the program first launched in 1979. As The Guardian reports, that puts a dent in the nation's historic love affair with Rudyard Kipling, one of its own:
Rudyard Kipling's "If" was voted the nation's favourite poem by BBC television viewers in 2005 and 2009, as part of its poetry season, and viewers also crowned T.S. Eliot as the UK's favourite poet.
"To see Frost at the top is a nice correction to the patriotism of the 'nation's favourite' poems or poets. It's much more human," Dee added.
But perhaps the continental divide isn't quiet so vast. Frost, curiously, got his writing start in England, where he settled in Beaconsfield in 1912; while there, he befriended Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas and published two volumes of poetry in London. And Rudyard Kipling spent several years living in relative seclusion in Frost's beloved Vermont, where he settled near Brattleboro and wrote at a feverish pace.
Unfortunately, their years in the Green Mountain State did not overlap.
Here's the full list of Poetry Please's most requested poems, via The Guardian:
1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost
2. How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43), by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
3. Adlestrop, by Edward Thomas
4. Fern Hill, by Dylan Thomas
5. The Darkling Thrush, by Thomas Hardy
6. Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold
7. Sonnet 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds), William Shakespeare
8. The Listeners, by Walter De La Mare
9. Remember, by Christina Rossetti
10. To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell