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.

Details

Criticism Overview
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 PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags symbolism, winter, Nature, labor

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