So, the Frost book is done. I've just bought the Library of America collected Frost to replace my very split and mangled softcover. After this period of engagement with his work, my current favorite Frost poems are "Directive," "I could give all to Time," "Aquainted with the Night," and, let's say, "A Servent to Servents". Not too obscure a list, but a good one. The Parini biography was, as I said last night, fun but too enamored; I want something more. Soon, I'll pick up the Prichard biography--he wrote the excellent book on Jarrell I was blogging about a few weeks ago--which, I hear, has strong close readings of the poems. But I think I need a little break from Frost.
You may think me crazy, but I'm on a poet-biography kick. I think it's Meldelson's Later Auden next. I'm enjoying the dance of biographical writing--the skeptical distance a biographer needs to try to maintain tempered by their own love of their subject. And what better subject for me than modern poets? Frost and Auden are two poets who I haven't (or at least hadn't--I think I've put my time in with Frost now) attended to enough. And it's a damn refreshing change from reading tons of contemporary poetry.
And I've got that Armitage essay to work on, as well as a review of two new Iowa books.