Oct. 2, 2006 -- The fall issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, published at the University of Virginia, features an previously unknown poem by Robert Frost about the personal tolls of modern warfare. The Frost poem was discovered by University of Virginia graduate student Robert Stilling among books and manuscripts recently purchased by the University’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
The poem, “War Thoughts at Home,” was composed in 1918 shortly after Frost’s friend and fellow poet Edward Thomas was killed during WWI. The complete text, written in the poet’s own handwriting, appeared on the flyleaf and title page of a copy his early collection “North of Boston” owned by Frederick Melcher, a noted bookseller, editor and publisher. The Library’s Frederick G. Melcher Collection of Robert Frost includes correspondence between Frost and Frederick Melcher, along with other correspondence relating to Frost.
The poem is accompanied in VQR by critical essays by Glyn Maxwell, poetry editor of the New Republic, and Stilling.
The University will host a lecture by Glyn Maxwell and Robert Stilling on the newly discovered Frost poem on Friday, October 20, at 4:00 p.m. at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. The lecture is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Library and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Later that evening at 8:00 p.m., Glyn Maxwell will read from his poetry at the Jefferson Society on the West Range. The Special Collections Library will also host an exhibit featuring the original manuscript of “War Thoughts at Home” along with Frost correspondence and rare books from the Melcher Collection.