Thursday, December 27, 2012

Revisiting Frost

In the previous blog I wrote about Robert Frost and his recitation of the poem "The Gift Outright " from memory at John F. Kennedy's inauguration. This was a poem he had written in 1942 and winning a Pulitzer Prize for it. But what I did not know that he had actually written a poem titled "Dedication" for the ceremony but at the last minute chose not to read it.  See the following information which I found quite interesting.

For John F Kennedy's inauguration as President of the United States Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled, "Dedication". Like many others he conceived the new president as young Lochinvar, the perfect combination of spirit and flesh, passion and toughness, poetry and reality:
"... The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young ambition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday's the beginning hour."
But the poet was old (87) and he couldn't see the words because of the sun's glare that bright, cold January day. The poem's newness to him and his unfamiliarity with and uncertainty about the way it went caused him to stumble uncertainly with his voice and tone and he gave up. Instead he fell back on an old one he knew perfectly, and in the most splendidly commanding of voices, recited it impeccably:

~ The Gift Outright ~

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

Holiday Appetizers
Cook's notes: The following appetizer recipes are easy to prepare
Brie Kisses-will need a mini muffin pan and only 3 ingredients! Imagine that :)
  • 1 box puff pastry thawed
  • 1 package of brie cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 jar red pepper jelly

  • Preheat oven 400
  • With a sharp knife shave off outer rind of Brie cheese
  • Cut in 1/2 inch cubes and refrigerate on a plate lined with waxed paper
  • Lightly grease muffin pan
  • On cutting board lay a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and sprinkle a little flour on it
  • Roll very lightly one of the sheets just to take out the crease and keep other piece wrapped and refrigerated till needed
  • Cut the strip lengthwise and crosswise till there are 24 squares 
  • Place each square in muffin tin with corners pointed outwards and press lightly down
  • Bake 5 minutes and with end of a wooden spoon press down in middle of each square (indent)
  • Bake 3 minutes longer
  • Add Brie cube in each square and top with small tsp. of jelly and bake 6 minutes more-serve warm 

Cook's notes:In the cracker section or deli section there are several products like the one pictured that can be used to make this appetizer. 

  • Bruschetta toasts
  • Finely chopped grape tomatoes or prepared tomato relish that comes in a jar
  • Parmesan cheese

  • On crispy toasts spread tomato relish or chopped tomatoes
  • Grate Parmesan cheese over top
  • Bake 5 minutes at 400

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