randy l. friedman Binghamton University (SUNY) 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. --Robert Frost (316), "The Gift Outright" robert frost read "the gift outright" to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at William & Mary College almost one hundred years after Emerson delivered his famous lecture "The American Scholar" before the Society's Harvard chapter. In his talk, Emerson proclaims, "Our day of dependence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands, draws to a close" (Essays and Poems 53). It is no accident that Frost's poem brings
The Pluralist – University of Illinois Press
Published: Mar 2, 2012
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