Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Interval... Intervale...

As Robert Frost was completing his third book, Mountain Interval, his friend George H. Browne dared question his spelling of interval. In an August 1916 letter Frost commented, "Browne rageth," then went on to rage himself. He was furious over Browne's insistence that the correct spelling should be intervale. Frost thought the criticism absurd, pointing out that Browne lived near two areas known as the Upper Interval and Lower Interval near Plymouth and that he was ignoring Emerson as precedent.

The letter was to another friend and early admirer of Frost's poetry, Cornelius Weygandt. Weygandt appears anonymously in Frost's long poem New Hampshire as a man "Who comes from Philadelphia every year / With a great flock of chickens of rare breeds."

This letter, acquired with funds donated in memory of Corrine Davidson, and another to Weygandt are the latest additions to our Frost manuscript collections.

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