Recently, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous around here. We suffered through two weeks of rain, so spring fever struck the second the sun decided to come out. As a result, many trips were made. One I would like to share with you was our most recent trip to Robert Frost’s farm. I know, many people aren’t fans of his poetry, or poetry at all, but making a visit to his farm can focus on everything but his poetry (What?! Yes, it’s true). He had quite the fascinating life, and anyone would find some interest in a trip to his farm. You make of it what you can! Plus, the place is absolutely gorgeous on the outside, and the inside can be beautiful if you enjoy old things.
There’s a massive amount of reading presented throughout his barn, courtesy of the people who work this tourist attraction. You don’t have to read through it of course, the people there have pretty much everything memorized. In fact, I found the most interested stories came from the people working at the farm. For instance, who knew Frost had quite a few children and only ONE lived to old age. Sure, one of his other girls made it to her 20s, but his children had very unfortunate lives. Schizophrenia ran in the family, and apparently tragedy for those who didn’t develop this psychological disorder. I find it ironic that Frost didn’t have Schizophrenia (correct me if I’m wrong..), since our society has a fascination with portraying writers as insane. Well, take that society. Yet another normal writer!
When I discovered that his mother was actually a writer, I had to ask if she’d published anything. To my disappointment, she hadn’t. I wasn’t surprised, but I don’t realize how often I take for granted how easy it is for us to publish our works nowadays. I am forever glad for our technology, and also our acceptance of women writers.
Anyway, once you get past all of the family history and poetry reading or discussing (if you take the time to do so), the antiquing fun begins! As you would expect from any tourist attraction, you have your classic places for photos in the house. But wait! It’s not what you think. It’s not one of those cheesy wooden scraps of wood carved into shapes of animals and whatnot. The tour guide offers to take your picture on Frost’s family toilet seats. Weird, I know. I’ll keep that picture in private.. No really. It’s not what you think.
The tour is a classic house tour. This is where they slept. This is where they relieved themselves. This is where the kids planted their garden each year. You get the idea. I won’t spoil it all for you, if you do decide to take a trip up to New Hampshire to visit. But I will share this with you. As any writer should, Frost had a coffee grinder. I don’t believe this one was the original, but it’s still really awesome. If the grinds didn’t come out chunky, I’d hook myself up with one.
I was also searching for Frost’s typewriter along the way. I couldn’t find it! But the tour guide pointed out a typewriter which he claimed was Frost’s wife’s. I’m still perplexed. Maybe I missed something.
Inspiration struck at some point when the tour guide spoke about Frost’s “research.” He’s standing there pointing at a phone. I had no idea what to expect. Turns out, Frost would eavesdrop on his neighbors to try and write like a farmer speaks. He wasn’t a true New Englander to begin with, and he certainly wasn’t to end with (he moved to England). I’m always interested to see what authors do to improve their writing. I respect Frost even more after learning about his research. I can’t imagine trying to portray farmer speech in poetry. Now I’m wondering if I should’ve eavesdropped on local farmers for my upcoming novel.
One final stage of Frost’s tour is walking through the woods he speaks about in his poetry. I didn’t have the chance to do so, but the trails are free to walk and I’ll probably make my way back. The tour was only $4 (for NH residents), and I think I took a lot from that alone. I didn’t expect to find inspiration from this little adventure, but surprise! Inspiration has struck! It’s time for me to go eavesdrop on farmers…
By the way, there’s a whole lot more I could’ve said about this tour. But I’ll leave some mystery for you.