Hayden Carruth: On "Two Tramps in Mudtime"
"Two Tramps in Mud Time" opens with the poet as wood-splitter in the thawing time of late winter, suffering the interruption of two unemployed loggers; this is good localized description, the kind Frost was master of. But then he appears not to know what to do with his opening. The poem wanders into further unnecessary description: the April day, the bluebird, the snow and water; and then it ends in four stanzas of virtually straight editorial matter. The two tramps and the mud-time are left utterly stranded. When one thinks how Frost would have used these figures at the time when he was writing his earlier dramatic and narrative poems, one can see clearly, I believe, how he had deserted his own imagination and how he tried to make up the deficiency through conscious manipulation and force
From "Robert Frost" in Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Spring-Summer, 1975.
|Title||Hayden Carruth: On "Two Tramps in Mudtime"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Hayden Carruth||Criticism Target||Robert Frost|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||26 Feb 2014|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||No Data|
|Printer Friendly||View||PDF Version||View|
|Contexts||No Data||Tags||symbolism, winter, Nature, labor|