[Ads-l] Quotation: Writing free verse is like playing hand ball with no wall, or like playing tennis without a net

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 25 21:21:32 EDT 2021


(This message was sent to the list on May 24th, but it did not appear
in the archive, and it may have been lost. So I am resending it)

On May 20th Ben Zimmer suggested via a tweet that I look into a vivid
simile attributed to Robert Frost.

The statement in the subject line was ascribed to Frost in a newspaper
report dated February 10, 1933 about a talk he delivered in Scranton,
Pennsylvania.

Here is a link to the Quote Investigator article:
https://quoteinvestigator.com/2021/05/24/poem-tennis/

Frost delivered the remark on multiple occasions, and the phrasing was variable.

Several reference works such as the "Encarta Book of Quotations"
(2000) and "The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations" 1993 contain
entries stating that Frost employed an instance during a speech at
Milton Academy in Massachusetts on May 17, 1935. I sent an email to
the Cox Library at Milton Academy to try to acquire scans of
supporting documentation. (No response yet.)

Feedback welcome
Garson O'Toole

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