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Happy birthday, Robert!

Frost, that is.

Today, in 1874, Robert Frost was born. According to my Poetry Speaks Poem-A-Day calendar that juliewinkler gave me, as a professor, he was a rule-breaker. He held informal talks in his home rather than lecturing, and gave exams only because he was required to. His tests were simple. One consisted of a single question: "What good di my course do you?" He requested brief replies.

The highest grade went to this response: "Not a dam bit!" But that student didn't get perfect marks, because he left the N off "damn."

Here's a lovely Frost poem, in terza rima (ABA BCB CDC DEDEE) using iambic pentameter. It's called Acquainted with the Night.

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

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