Posted by Declan Kiely
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 5:30:00 PM
Robert Frost (1874–1963)
Autograph letter signed, dated Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, 25 August 1926, to Conrad Aiken
Purchased on the John F. Fleming Fund, 2008
Robert Frost shares literary gossip with fellow poet Conrad Aiken in this unpublished five-page letter. Frost authorizes the publication of his poetry in Aiken's 1927 anthology Modern American Poets—the letter concerns the selection of poetry for anthologies, mentioning the work of Louis Untermeyer, his wife Jean Untermeyer, Virginia Moore, and William Butler Yeats. At turns jocular and intimate, Frost promises to visit Aiken in England to play a game of tennis with him, explaining that, "Tennis is neither my vocation nor my avocation; it is my weakness and I am very weak at it, but I will not desist." Frost's relish of rivalry and competitiveness is further revealed in the remark that he has "recently had an entire reinflamation of my ambition to be a great letter writer . . . with a view to posthumous publication." In the future, when they are both older men, he challenges Aiken to conduct "a stately correspondence such as that of Adams and Jefferson in their old age." The Morgan has two autograph manuscript poems by Frost, but this is the first letter by Frost to be added to the collection. It complements the extensive collection of Frost's books in the Carter Burden Collection.