Saturday, March 26, 2016

Remembering The Birthdays Of Robert Frost And Tennessee Williams

Robert Frost in 1941

They may share March 26 as a birth date but that is about all Robert Frost (1874- 1963) and Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) have in common. The Academy of American Poets has this to say about Frost:

Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England—and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time—Frost is anything but merely a regional poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

Read the full article here

Tennessee Williams in 1964
The Public Broadcasting Service's American Masters series online biography of Williams opens with this paragraph:

He was brilliant and prolific, breathing life and passion into such memorable characters as Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski in his critically acclaimed A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. And like them, he was troubled and self-destructive, an abuser of alcohol and drugs. He was awarded four Drama Critic Circle Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was derided by critics and blacklisted by Roman Catholic Cardinal Spellman, who condemned one of his scripts as “revolting, deplorable, morally repellent, offensive to Christian standards of decency.” He was Tennessee Williams, one of the greatest playwrights in American history.

The full article on Williams is available here.

Frost and Williams. Together their American experience may be so broad as to admit no exception. Let the research begin!


Photos and Illustrations:
Frost photo, Frank Palumbo, World Telegraph, Library of Congress, New York-World Telegraph and Sun Collection;
Williams photo, Orlando Fernandez, World Telegraph, Library of Congress, New York-World Telegraph and Sun Collection

No comments: