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Reference Book of the Week: Critical Companion to Robert Frost

National Poetry Month logo 2008 Welcome to this week's edition of Reference Book of the Week at The Patriot Spot. We continue to celebrate National Poetry Month, and we wrap up the month with a look at one of the greatest American poets: Robert Frost. This week we feature the Critical Companion to Robert Frost: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. This book is part of the Critical Companion series published by Facts on File, Inc. This publisher is known for making very accessible reference works. If you want a good source of information on Robert Frost, this is a good introductory volume. The book is organized into four parts:
  • A biography section. Here readers will find an essay on the life of Robert Frost. The essay includes a list of items for further reading for those who need or wish to have more in-depth readings about his life. This section also features some photos.
  • The Works A-Z section. This can be considered the core of the work. It features entries organized alphabetically about Frost's poems. You can look up a poem by its title, for example the 1929 poem "Devotion, and get a small essay describing the poem. The entries here also feature some items for further reading. The poems selected for the companion volume are taken from the 1995 Library of America edition of Robert Frost's Poetry and Prose, which the companion's author considered to be the most authoritative. Unfortunately, the library does not have the LOA edition of Frost's works, but we do have other good editions of his poetry. At any rate, the companion will cover Frost's most common poems, so odds are good that if you are working on a class assignment, you will find your poem here.
  • The third part is a list of entries relating to people, places, literary influences, themes and symbols. For example, do you need a discussion of the theme of home in Frost's poetry? You can find it here. Or what's the big deal with Frost and New England? There is an entry on New England that discusses its significance to Frost and his work. You can look things up by topic here.
  • The fourth part contains a series of helpful appendices. There is a chronology of his life, another chronology of prizes and awards he received (by date), a bibliography of editions of Frost's works (so  you can find a good one to read), a categorical list of his works, and a good bibliography of secondary sources you can use to find other works about Frost and his works.
This volume is written for undergraduates and general readers. It is very easy to use. If you are doing any research on Robert Frost, this is a great place to start. You will find the Critical Companion to Robert Frost in the library's reference collection in the second floor. The call number for this book is PS 3511 .R94 Z6435 2007.
Published by root on 29 Apr

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