Robert Francis (1901-1987), the author of eight volumes of poetry, an autobiography, a book of fiction, essays on poetry, and a reminiscence of Robert Frost, lived for most of his career on the outskirts of Amherst, Massachusetts, devoting himself to Yankee simplicity and self-renunciation derived from his reading of Thoreau. His preference for solitude and disinclination to write about or promote himself account for the elusiveness of his persona in his prose and poetry. This book charts how Francis developed and elaborated this persona through distanced self-portraits in prose and through poems that both reveal and conceal the self of the poet. Folded into the study are discussions of Francis's pastoralism, his affinities with Emerson and Thoreau, his experimentation with new poetic forms, his protest against the Vietnam War and environmental despoliation, his homoeroticism, and a comparison of his poetry with that of Robert Frost. The book also explores Francis's characteristic attitude, figured as qhovering, q where his speaker is both subject and object, writing about himself while inhabiting the role of detached observer. Complementing the emphasis on Francis's elusiveness, Andrew Stambuk offers readings of his poems attentive to aesthetic qualities that give them their particular reticence. Stambuk's sensitive evaluations underscore that Francis is a craftsman of intricate precisions whose work speaks to contemporary political and global concerns.12. sense, his late essay illustrates how skillfully he applies athe verbal equivalent of what Ruskin calls habit of handa (Henry ... In aTomatoes, a he likens the agaudya fruit on a asun-splashed silla to a astill life, a one aso lifelikea that the a fruit becomes the painted picture of the fruita (185). The landscape through which he traverses in aEvening Ridea stretches out before him astill and clear like a long murala (150). ... These words appear in the closing lines of Frosta#39;s poem aTree at My Window.
|Title||:||The Man who is and is Not There|
|Publisher||:||Univ of Massachusetts Press - 2011|