Given the culturally expansive nature of the American literary tradition of today, the question of the relevance of Robert Frost’s poetry to the poetry of contemporary Arab-American women writers is an issue worth digging into. Writing almost one hundred years ago does not make Frost’s poetry out of date. Frost’s poetry is as relevant to today’s America as it has been to the America of his days. And this can be ascribed to the multiplicity of perspectives he presents in his poetry as he examines crucial questions lying at the core of America’s “grand narrative of national development.” (Westover 2004: 216) Hence, the ambivalence which characterizes his national poetry. Reading Frost's representation of subjects crucial to the American history in light of the contemporary Arab-American women writers’ can yield a better understanding of the ambivalent standpoint he adopts in most of his national poems. To achieve that, the discussion will analyze, compare and contrast the statements Frost and five contemporary Arab-American women writers (Naomi Shihab Nye, Lisa Suhair Majaj, Suheir Hammad, Mohja Kahf and Nathalie Handal) make on the crucial questions of national identity, citizenry and cross-cultural existence in a number of their selected poems. What place does Frost’s ambivalence find in their poetry? And to what extent is it shared or rejected? These questions, amongst others, will be addressed in the current study with the aim of assessing the impact of Frost’s oeuvre on the poetry of contemporary American poets of Arab descents.
Mukattash, Eman K.
"‘Convicted of Patricide?’: Robert Frost’s Nationalism in the Eyes of Contemporary Arab-American Women Writers."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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