American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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The Poetry of Robert Frost

Supply Object Title

Robert Frost (1874-1963)
"The Gift Outright"
Manuscript Division

Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled "Dedication" for delivery at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961, but never read it, because the sun's glare upon the snow blinded Frost from seeing the text. Instead, he recited "The Gift Outright" from memory.

The Library holds Frost's original, working draft of "Dedication" as well as this fair copy of the more familiar poem. Robert Frost served as the Library's consultant in poetry (1958-1959) and honorary consultant in the humanities (1958-1963). In addition, Frost recorded readings of his poetry at the Library in 1948, 1953, and 1959 for the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.

From the Poetry of Robert Frost, © 1970 by Lesley Frost Ballantine, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

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