Lot 107: This unpublished variation of a poem done by Robert Frost!Frost is one of the most popular and critically respected American poets of the twentieth century; Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America's rare "public literary figures, almost an artistic institution." He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetical works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named Poet laureate of Vermont. In this original manuscript Frost changed or removed multiple Stanzas and words from another poem which he published called " A Record Stride". This unique version is titled, "A Record For Me". After research and correspondence with other Frost experts it is believed that this poem was most likely written for a family member or close friend, possibly even for himself. There is also a possibility that this is an original draft of the Poem that later became "A Record Stride" This poem is very biographical, and deeply vulnerable and revealing, and with the many differences he made we believe to be quite a significant find. In the new poem he removed two stanza's. One stanza referring to his grandchildren and in another it had referred to the United States. Frost also substituted words for two other stanzas. In the 5th stanza, 1st line he originally said take my tongue to (the shoes now), which has now been replaced with (to their leather) instead. Another change is in the 6th stanza last line he changed I (should sell for what)to I(Ought to see what) they would fetch. To find any unpublished Manuscripts by a Pulitzer Prize winning poet are quite rare and desirable, we are proud to offer such a spectacular piece of Robert Frost poetry. The Poem is also accompanied with a group of 7 original Christmas poetry leaflets, a few are quite scarce, and two original dinner invitations in his honor. It interesting to note that one of these was Frost's own invite for the dinner with his name on the envelope "Master Frost "and that some of the original envelopes for the Christmas poems are still present but are unused. It is possible that this collection was Frost's personal poem and his own copies of the special Christmas cards he would send out over the years for close friends and family. Here is the Poem: "A Record For Me" In a Vermont bedroom closet With a door of two broad boards And for back wall a crumbling old chimney (And that's what their toes are towards ), I have a pair of shoes standing, Old rivals of sagging leather, Who once kept surpassing each other, But now live even together. They listen for me in the bedroom To ask me a thing or two About who is too old to go walking, With too much stress on the who. I wet one last year at Montauk For a hat I had to save. The other I wet at the Cliff House In an extra vagant wave. I touch my tongue to their leather, And unless my sense is at fault, On one I can taste Atlantic, On the other Pacific, salt. One foot in each great ocean Is a record stride or stretch. The authentic shoes it was made in I ought to see what they would fetch. But instead I proudly devote them To my museum and muse; So the thick-skins needn't act thin-skinned About being past-active shoes. R.F.
Oak Auctions' Rare Autograph and Manuscript Auction
Thursday, 19th November 2015
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