Robert Frost as a Thought Imagist

Posted:  Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 2:00pm

At 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 18th, Baird Whitlock of Belfast, ME will present a talk at the Wiscasset Public Library on Robert Frost, based on an idea he used as his first talk on Frost at the University of Manchester in England.

Back in the early 1950s in England,  Frost was really known primarily as a rural poet, partly because he was still known for his first two books of poetry, which had been published before the first World War in England where he and his family had been staying for a couple of years. It seemed to Whitlock that what they needed to recognize was the power of Frost’s development of what Whitlock called "Thought Imagism". While Frost was living in England, he became a close acquaintance of the early Imagist poets, Flint and Pound, but instead of giving a short description of a scene which was left to the readers to interpret, Frost presented an idea and showed two or more ways of interpreting them. He once said to Whitlock that "a poet has a right to anything a reader can get out of his poem." And many of his poems, such as "A Mending Wall", have remained as living examples of how different the meanings are for different readers.

Baird Whitlock graduated from Rutgers University and obtained a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has taught English at Middlebury College and Colby College, establishing a Humanities program while at Colby. While in the West, he served as head of English departments and Dean of Humanities, Language and Literature in colleges in Wyoming, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas. He also served as President of Simon's Rock Early College (now part of Bard College).

He retired to Belfast, Maine in 1989, where he established a series of Foreign Films at the Library and taught courses in Art History and Modern Poetry for 10 years in the newly-founded Senior College.

This lecture has been made possible by the Friends of the Wiscasset Public Library. No charge to the public. Light refreshments available.