Robert Frost delivers a sermon on Sukkot

Robert Frost delivers a sermon on Sukkot

Frost, Robert (1874 – 1963). A Sermon by Robert Frost spoken on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles at the Rockdale Avenue Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday morning, October 10, 1946. New York: The Spiral Press, 1947. [14] pp.; 21 cm. First edition, first state, with no correction to the final page of text. One of 500 copies printed. Red paper covers with a title label. Near fine. Crane A33.


Frost and Reichert. University of Buffalo.

     This uncommon publication was produced at the behest of Dr. Victor E. Reichert (1897 – 1990), who served as rabbi of Cleveland's Rockdale Avenue Temple from 1938 to 1962. A longtime friend of the poet, Reichert invited Frost to address the congregation on Sukkot. Frost read from his yet unpublished Masque of Mercy and delivered this impromptu talk, which Reichert had recorded and transcribed. It is a remarkable statement: Frost lambastes “irreligion,” which he calls “worse than atheism,” and defines faith in almost Kierkegaardian terms as “a straining of the spirit forward to a wisdom beyond wisdom.” Regrettably, Reichert apparently failed to secure Frost’s permission to publish his talk and reportedly relatively few copies were distributed.

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    Robert Frost delivers a sermon on Sukkot