Frank Lentricchia: On "Desert Places"

Probably no poem of Frost's so well accommodates the wide emotive swings of self which be probed from early on in his career. In "Desert Places" we watch the speaker go to the brink in his projection; then be comes back to normality, withdraws from dark vision, and rests in the stability of a balanced ironic consciousness. As well as any poem of dark vision that he wrote, "Desert Places" gives evidence of Frost's ability to achieve aesthetic detachment from certain sorts of destructive experience.

. . . .

The figure in "Desert Places,". . .understands that he "scare[s himself] with [his] own desert places"--that the desert places belong peculiarly to him because they are projections of the self.

From Robert Frost: Modern Poetics and the Landscapes of Self. Copyright © 1975 by Duke University Press.

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Criticism Overview
Title Frank Lentricchia: On "Desert Places" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Frank Lentricchia Criticism Target Robert Frost
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 08 Feb 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Robert Frost: Modern Poetics and the Landscapes of Self
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