Robert Frost held an audience of some 500 people in the New Lecture Hall for over an hour yesterday afternoon as the philosophized and then read some of his own works at the annual Morris Gray poetry lecture.
First developing his ideas on meaning and symbolism in poetry. Frost kept a ripple of laughter going through the audience as he loosed salty jibes at the new Deal in the course of the preliminary discussion. During this period, and throughout the later parts of his readings, he was constantly interrupted by the almost steady flow of latecomers and early leavers.
Poets Obligated, He Says
Characterizing all poetry, with the exception of blank verse, as a form of self-discipline from within and without. Frost explained how great were the obligations of a poet once he had started his work. "Once an initial rhyme is made," he said, "the poet cannot avoid continuing in the same style."
Frost first read his "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Night" to illustrate the truth of this thesis, and from that point the readings went largely whenever the poet's fancy took him. "West Running Brook" and two shorter poems followed in order.
Of his works the most popular were probably those that had an air of the country in their context and his final eight or nine poems, including his two encores, were all of this "homespun" variety.