On a high Vermont hill, where Robert Frost liked to summer the sound of trees, he and I talked through many afternoons, speaking, as Frost put it, “to some purpose.” He held forth on astronomy, mortality, baseball, poetry, and prose, displaying a command of phrase that I have never heard from anyone else. Frost ranged from Ben Jonson to John Lardner, bounded back to Emily Dickinson and stumbled against Ezra Pound, asserting more than once an unshakable ground rule: I was never publicly to quote him on writers or writing. When asked why, he was ready.Read more »