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Robert Frost on Yale

Everyone who has gone on a Yale tour knows that celebrated poet Robert Frost called the Branford College courtyard “the most beautiful college courtyard in all America.” But what else did Frost say about Yale?


“Well, thanks a lot for inviting me. Nice place you got here.”

Robert Frost, to Yale President Kingman Brewster, 2:15 p.m., March 14, 1963

“In fact, I’ve always thought it would be great to have an honorary degree from Yale. Oh, you know I’m kidding.”

Frost again, 2:17 p.m.

“Branford College has the most beautiful college courtyard in all America.”

Frost, 2:20 p.m.

“Beinecke Plaza is the most beautiful rare books library-holding plaza in the country, Kingman.”

Frost, nudging Brewster’s shoulder, 2:32 p.m.

“How am I doing?”

Frost, mouthing the words quietly to his wife, 2:32:30 p.m.

“The tour, the gentle autumn breeze, the delicious salmon: this is the best day of my entire life!”

Frost, smiling broadly, 6:28 p.m.

“What a suck-up! Is he always like this?”

Kingman Brewster, softly to Mrs. Frost, 6:28:08 p.m.

“You should have seen him at Harvard. ‘If two roads diverged in a wood, I’d take the one to Cambridge.’ For shame!”

Mrs. Frost, 6:28:35 p.m.

“I know you honored two poets last year, but I also know that you still can choose the right road here. After all, you’re the ‘King’ of this place. Get it?”

Frost, 7:12 p.m.

“Want to take a stroll to Branford, the Blah-Blah-Blah- Blah…”

Brewster, mimicking Frost, to Mrs. Brewster, 7:25 p.m.

“Look honey, I don’t know what you want! I’m trying to get the damn degree. You know what good press does for book sales. I just don’t know if we’re approaching this the right way. Calm down!”

Frost, to his wife, 8:01 p.m.

“I know how many I’ve had, and yes, I’ll have another whiskey sour. On the rocks.”

Frost, throwing a chair at his waiter at Mory’s Temple Bar, 10:45 p.m.

“You’re not sleeping here smelling like spirits.”

Mrs. Frost, 11:14 p.m.

“You have the most beautiful figure in the entire country, sweetheart.”

Frost, getting frisky at the bar of the Union League Café, 11:32 p.m.

“Who needs your damn university, Kingman? Huh? I’ll tell you who: nobody!”

Frost, throwing rocks at the President’s house, 1:12 a.m.

Did you hear something, honey?”

Brewster to Mrs. Brewster, 1:20 a.m.

“Damn you, Yale!”

Frost, curling up to sleep it off in the Branford College courtyard, 1:55 a.m.

—M. Matera, ’03


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