The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Since 1945
Cambridge University Press, $34.95 pb, 268 pp, 9780521147958
The scene: a cold, bright January day in the snow-covered capital of the United States. The occasion: the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy. Up to the podium steps America’s unofficial poet laureate, eighty-six-year-old Robert Frost. Temporarily blinded by the glare of brilliant sunshine and freshly fallen snow, Frost sets aside the handwritten text of his specially prepared ‘Dedication’ and recites from memory a much earlier poem, ‘The Gift Outright’.