Frost on Religion:
I demand to speak with God
What is your business with God
I couldn't explain that to anybody but God
There is not God
So much the better perhaps. Because that rules out half my business. If there is no God there can be no future life. The present life is all I should have to worry about.
Frost on metaphor:
Regarding poetry, Frost speaks with profound and fascinating
authority and cannot be tiresome. His
double vision of metaphor alone—calling it the foundation of all understanding
and at the same time counting on it to fail ("Every metaphor breaks
down")—gives a nicely mystical crack to his poetical systems. He's
always trying to catch the elusive cross-forces of sound and sense working
within the poem, as here: "Sentences [in a poem] have a direction of their
own back or forth across the penny under the paper. The idea comes out in lines
almost at right angles to the lines of the sentences." Applied to poetry,
you see the characteristic Frost-vectors ("back or forth,"
"at right angles") take on a strange metaphysical
warp. Every equal sign has to get tilted funny.
In an intriguing example of how Frost's thinking circles around until one thing becomes another, in one notebook entry "meaning" loses its meaning and becomes instead something that applies pressure to tone. Writing about how a poem is made, he says:
The sound is everything. The best means of achieving it are vowels consonants . . . verbal accent meter but the best of all for variety . . . is meaning. Great thoughts are of value as they supply profound tones.
--Ryan, Kay. “I Demand To Speak with God.” Rev. of The Notebooks of Robert Frost. Ed. Robert Faggen.Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2007. Poetry Magazine Sept. 2007: 42-9. Rpt. In “Frost: Related Content,”Poetry Foundation. Web. 6 Feb. 2015.