Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recent find: 1901 Robert Frost 3rd nat'l appearance 'Quest of the Orchis'

Robert Frost's third appearance in a national magazine - this single month wraps of The INDEPENDENT is very scarce and notable for containing Robert Frost's very early third appearance in print in a national magazine, predating his first book. 'The Quest of the Orchis' was included in the June 27, 1901 issue, published as R. L. Frost, and is only his third appearance, after his 1894 inclusion of the poem 'My Butterfly: An Elegy' and a 1896 poem 'The Birds Do This' in the same magazine.

Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant's description in Robert Frost: The Trial by Existence explains it in detail:

'...Frost has often said, was one of the two most crucial experiences of a literary and poetic kind in his student life: "I happened into the old library, and found on the magazine rack a copy of the Independent, with a poem on the front page. This experience gave me my very first revelation that a publication existed, anywhere in my native land, that was a vehicle for the publication of poetry. There was even an editorial about this poem, which I read with rapt amaze. So when later I had a poem [My Butterfly], I of course sent it to the Independent.'"

After an extensive internet search, it is notable to mention only one other copy is to be found for sale with a reptuable dealer, Charles Agvent ABAA.

For information on this and other collectible Robert Frost items, visit Northwest Press Books.