Elevate Your Spotify Playlists With Recordings of Robert Frost

Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons
Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons / Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

While you’ve almost certainly read the work of American poet Robert Frost, hearing it is an entirely different experience—particularly if read by the author himself.

Two collections of such readings are now available on Spotify, and they shed new light on those famous verses. Smithsonian reports that one of these anthologies, Robert Frost Reading His Own Poems, is from The National Council of Teachers of English and was created in 1951, while the other, Robert Frost Reads His Poetry, comes from Harper Audio and was recorded in 1956.

Some of the more popular pieces in the compilation include "Fire and Ice," "Birches," “Mending Wall,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “After Apple Picking,” and, perhaps most notably, “The Road Not Taken," which for many readers might just be the best chance to revisit and reconsider a familiar work. In their write-up on the aural anthologies, Open Culture cited a piece by David Orr for The Paris Review on "The Road Not Taken" called “The Most Misread Poem in America.” “The poem isn’t a salute to can-do individualism," Orr writes, "it’s a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives.”

Even if you’re not looking to dissect the works (though it being Frost, that’s worth your time too), hearing the author deliver his poems is a delightful experience. He brings them to life with a songlike gravitas and a forward momentum that belies the contemplative nature of poetry itself. It's well worth a listen.

[h/t Smithsonian]