Diane, et al,

This talk of Frost and Cather prompted me to go to my copy of The Professor's House where I wrote down word for word what Cather wrote on a copy of the book she gave Frost.  I saw it as the Cather Archive at Drew University.  I just thought I would share it here for all to see it though I'm sure most of you already have:

Note to Frost

For the American Poet Robert Frost

Note This is really a story of "letting go with the heart," but most [readers?] seem to consider it an attempt to propose [prophesize?] a system of Philosophy.

(signed) Willa Cather


Jim Cody, D.Litt.
English Dept.
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ  07738
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From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Olin-Ammentorp, Julie <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:50:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [5BANKSTREET] Cather and Frost
Thanks so much, Diane. These are fascinating. Someone needs to write about Cather and Frost!

On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 8:09 AM, Sherrill Harbison <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
These are terrific-- thank you!

On Sep 13, 2017, at 6:39 PM, Janis stout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Many thanks for pointing these out, Diane.

Janis stout

Sent from Janis's iPad

On Sep 13, 2017, at 1:54 PM, Diane Prenatt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

These references to Cather in the new Letters of Robert Frost, vol. 2 (Harvard, 2016) were unfamiliar to me, so I thought others might be interested, too.


Letter to Louis Untermeyer, April 15, 1921: “But the best writing of all is Coming Aphrodite. Now I’m envious. We have had no such short story. You must agree with me. Every stroke of it to the very last. I wept for the sheer perfection—and I’m the fellow who won’t allow artists to take artists for their subject.” (p. 160)


Letter to George R. Elliott, professor of English, Bowdoin College, c. October 15, 1924, regarding speakers for 1925 Bowdoin Institute of Modern Literature: “Willa Cather is A No. 1. You must have her, and you may tell her I said so. Besides being a real figure in letters, she’s both thinker and speaker.” (p. 422)  (Woodress’s biography includes Cather’s attendance at this event, but not the information that she was recommended by Frost.)


Letter to John Bartlett, c. January 1, 1926: “Willa Cather is our great novelist now. Her Professor’s House is all right” (p. 504).


Also, in a note, the information that Frost nominated Cather in 1924 to the Fellowship in Creative Arts at the University of Michigan (which Frost had held) and “was disappointed when the committee in charge thought it unwise to give the fellowship to a woman . . .” (p. 455).




Diane Prenatt, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Marian University



Julie Olin-Ammentorp
Dept. of English
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13214
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