Manuscript/Mixed Material "Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January 1961. Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page. Permission to reproduce the poem online was granted by the Estate of Robert Frost and Henry

About this Item

Title
"Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January 1961. Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page. Permission to reproduce the poem online was granted by the Estate of Robert Frost and Henry
Created / Published
20 January 1961
Subject Headings
-  Poets
-  Poems
-  Presidents
-  Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald) (1917-1963)
-  "Dedication" (Poem)
-  "For John Kennedy His Inauguration" (Poem)
-  Frost, Robert (1874-1963)
-  "The Gift Outright" (Poem)
-  Inaugurations
-  Manuscripts
Genre
Manuscripts
Notes
-  Reproduction number: A77 (color slide; pages 1-3)
-  This is the reading text of a poem Robert Frost (1874-1963) composed for delivery at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) on 20 January 1961. The poem went undelivered, however, because the sun's glare upon the snow-covered ground blinded Frost from seeing his text. The poet put the manuscript aside and instead recited his poem "The Gift Outright" from memory. "Dedication" appears under the title, "For John Kennedy His Inauguration," in The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem and copyrighted 1969 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
-  This first version of "Dedication" was donated to the Library of Congress in 1969 by Stewart L. Udall (1920- ), Kennedy's secretary of the interior, after he had been asked about his own papers. Udall explained that no one had expected Frost to write a new poem for the inauguration as "he had steadfastly refused to compose commemorative verses during his entire lifetime." On the morning of the ceremony, Udall heard Frost reading aloud in a closed room. When the poet emerged, he handed Udall the "Dedication" manuscript, and, pleased with this surprise, said, "I've been practicing up!" Udall had a clean typescript prepared, and Frost took both versions to the ceremony. Near the end of the day, Udall asked Frost for the manuscript of the new unread poem. Frost agreed and added the inscription which appears above the title of the typescript: "For Stewart from Robert On the Day, Jan 20 1961."
-  Frost's association with the Library of Congress commenced well before this inaugural poem arrived. He served as the Library's consultant in poetry from 1958 to 1959, and as honorary consultant in the humanities from 1958 to 1963. The Library mounted an exhibition of Frostiana in 1955-56 and held a press conference for his November 1962 visit. Frost recorded readings of his poetry at the Library in 1948, 1953, and 1959 for the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.
Source Collection
Stewart L. Udall Collection
Repository
Manuscript Division
Online Format
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Chicago citation style:

"Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January . Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page. Permission to reproduce the poem online was granted by the Estate of Robert Frost and Henry. 20 January, 1960. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.088/.

APA citation style:

(1960) "Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January . Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page. Permission to reproduce the poem online was granted by the Estate of Robert Frost and Henry. 20 January. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.088/.

MLA citation style:

"Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem, 20 January . Typescript with Frost's holograph script corrections in ink and Stewart Udall's holograph clarifications in pencil on the last page. Permission to reproduce the poem online was granted by the Estate of Robert Frost and Henry. 20 January, 1960. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mcc.088/>.

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