January 29, 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death, in his eighty-ninth year, of Robert Frost, arguably the finest English-language poet of the twentieth century. In this poem it is the poet who speaks.
Robert Frost Consults Dr. Moore
They say you have a specialty—alcoholism.
That’s not it, with me. It’s something else.
But nothing, really. They say, you’ve written
sonnets. Is that so? how many? It’s an old
form, not much in demand these days, you
know. A thousand? More than a thousand?
How many more? Say one for me. I write
sonnets, too. A whole sonnet once, in a single
sentence. Most of the time I disguise them,
their form, I mean. Oh, I publish them alright,
but I divide them up on the page. Quatrains,
couplets, tercets, you know. Anything to get
a poem a fair hearing before it gets rejected for
form alone. But don’t waste your time on me—
there’s Lowell out there, your friend the doc in
New Jersey—plenty more. Me? I’m off now.
Apr. 22, 1986