Special to the Reformer
South Shaftsbury — A Professor of Chemistry at the United States Naval Academy, who is also the president of the national Robert Frost Society, will open the "Sunday Afternoons with Robert Frost" series at the Stone House Museum on Sunday, June 11, with a talk that brings together her two favorite subjects — science and Robert Frost's poetry.
At 2 p.m., Dr. Virginia Smith will present a variety of examples of scientific and natural allusions from Frost's poems, tracing the changes they reveal in both style and attitude over the course of his writing career. Smith will point out how Frost incorporated science in explicit ways in his poetry, such as direct references to objects or discoveries and in subtle ways, such as metaphors based on scientific concepts. Her discussion will address both his earlier work characterized by a simple, straightforward appreciation for science as natural history as well as his later poems that reflect a complex, conflicted relationship with concepts that challenged his perception of the world around him.
She earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Washington State University. She has published extensively in the area of molecular biophysics as well as in literary journals about the relationship between Frost's poetry and science. She is currently under contract to Clemson University Press for a book-length manuscript, "A Scientific Companion to Robert Frost."
The "Sunday Afternoons with Robert Frost" lecture series are sponsored each summer by The Friends of Robert Frost and are offered free of charge. Both the Museum and the Little Red Barn, where the talks are held, are handicapped accessible. For directions or more information, call 802-447-6200. The Robert Frost Stone House Museum is located at 121 Vermont Route 7A in South Shaftsbury. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit frostfriends.org for more information.