Carol Frost’s newest book is Entwined: Three Lyric Sequences (Tupelo, 2014). She teaches at Rollins College, where she is Alfond Professor of English. Her awards include 4 Pushcarts and 2 NEA’s.
Geosi Gyasi: Is there any special reason why you decided to fall on the services of the “colon” in your poem, “Argonaut’s Vow”?
Carol Frost: Colons are dramatic.
Geosi Gyasi: How often do you depend on “form” to write your poetry?
Carol Frost: If by form, you mean classical form – rhyme schemes and meter – only in echoes one still hears once one has listened hard. All the possibilities of language I’ve heard play in decades of free verse also resound when I write. Mostly, I trust instinct. I rarely start with a form in mind, or ear, but I imagine form underlies everything by the end.
Geosi Gyasi: I’m not sure if we can conclude that Argonaut’s “Vow” qualifies as an “Oath” in the sense that, “I told myself I’ll go where eagles go: if to brimstone:”?
Carol Frost: More a vow. For tone and for sound. Oath seems too solemn and it’s the wrong sound (long ‘o’) in the whole of the poem.
Geosi Gyasi: How different in “form” is Argonaut’s Vow from Apiary 40?
Carol Frost: The two poems are part of two different series of poems, two series that sound quite different and had different things to say and different ways to say them. I mean I hope readers can hear the differences in the lines and sentences. Argonaut’s Vow is part of my seascape series set in Florida – dramatic light, a turmoil of flora, fauna, and journey. Apiary 40 belongs to my poems about the gradual falling into dementia with its inevitable angers and sorrow as one’s self starts and finally finishes going away. Each of the poems in the Apiary Poems also features bees or a bee hive as a passing equivalent for the mind’s disintegration.
Geosi Gyasi: You were born in 1948 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Is there any special story you’ve been told about your birth?
Carol Frost: I’m told I was born eight minutes before my twin sister. I think they had to put me down pretty darn quickly and turn to the other event. Sue is now a veterinarian in Newfoundland and Labrador.