A Scientific Companion to Robert Frost

Virginia Smith

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ISBN: 9781942954484

Publication: June 30, 2018

Series: Clemson University Press

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Mention Robert Frost and people instantly think of snowy woods and less-traveled paths and rural neighbors meeting to fix their stone fence.  But what does Robert Frost have to do with science?  You might be surprised. Born in 1874, Frost lived through a remarkable period of scientific progress, including the development of quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, the Big Bang theory, the discovery of the structure of DNA and the beginnings of space travel.  Possessing a powerful intellect driven by keen curiosity, Frost was highly knowledgeable about the science of his time and infuses his poetry with imagery and language borrowed from science.    Frost not only uses the language of science to enrich his poetry in the same way he uses classical, historical, biblical and literary allusions, but he also uses ordinary language to create sophisticated metaphors based on scientific concepts such as evolution and entropy.  A Scientific Companion to Robert Frost represents the first systematic attempt to catalogue and explain all of the references to science and natural history in Frost’s poetry.  The book, which is organized chronologically, uses language that is accessible to laymen and is supplemented by numerous illustrations, and appendices that should make it a valuable resource for teachers and scholars. 

Dr. Virginia F. Smith is a Professor of Chemistry at the United States Naval Academy where she maintains an active research program and has published over twenty scientific articles. Her interest in Robert Frost's use of scientific imagery and language has led to three publications and multiple speaking engagements at colleges, universities, and professional meetings. She has also served as president of The Robert Frost Society. After earning an A.B. in physics and chemistry from Mount Holyoke College, Virginia served five years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, then worked in industry before earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Washington State University. Virginia and her husband live in Annapolis, MD.


A Boy’s Will

North of Boston

Mountain Interval

New Hampshire

West-Running Brook

A Further Range

A Witness Tree

Steeple Bush

An Afterword

A Masque of Reason

In the Clearing

Uncollected Poems

Works Cited

Annotated Bibliography

Concordance of Plants

Concordance of Animals

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

256 Pages

ISBN: 9781942954484

Publication: June 30, 2018

Series: Clemson University Press

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