In this photo provided by the University at Buffalo, from left, Michael Basinski, Jonathan Reichert and James Maynard examine items in the Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection, a collection of rare letters, audio files, photographs and other materials that chronicle a 24-year friendship between the poet and the Cincinnati rabbi.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Letters, recordings, photos and other items collected during a 24-year friendship between the poet Robert Frost and a Cincinnati rabbi is going on display to mark the 50th anniversary of Frost’s death.
The Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection will be shown starting Thursday at the University at Buffalo, where Reichert’s son, Jonathan Reichert, is professor emeritus of physics.
The organizers say insights into Frost’s views on religious beliefs, a topic his biographers have found hard to pin down, are illuminated by the collection.
Carole Thompson, founder and director of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury, Vt., said Victor Reichert, who died in 1990, was among a dozen people in the poet’s inner circle.
Reichert and his wife, Louise, met Frost at a reading in Cincinnati and spent summers with the four-time Pulitzer winner in Vermont, where they shared many long talks, including discussions of the Bible, and excursions into the Green Mountains. Frost died Jan. 29, 1963, in Boston. He was 88.
Given Frost’s conversations about personal tragedies in his life, notably the deaths of his wife and children, Victor Reichert wrote that there “is not the slightest doubt in my mind about the deep, deep religious nature of Robert Frost.”
Jonathan Reichert also recalls long conversations with Frost, noting, “You didn’t argue with him. With Frost, he did 95 percent of the talking.”
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