David Orr is the poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is the winner of the Nona Balakian Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, and his writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, and the Yale Review. He holds a BA from Princeton and a JD from Yale Law School, and is a visiting professor at Cornell University.
“Orr blends theory, biography, psychology, science, and a healthy dose of pop culture into a frothy mix so fun, readers may forget they’re learning something.”
“Orr presents a fresh, perceptive reading of the verse; places it in the context of Frost’s life, other works, and public persona; and considers the meaning of choice in American culture. An illuminating voyage into the heart of Frost’s poem and the American spirit.”
“This entertaining book will appeal to poetry and American literature lovers, as well as to readers interested in the interweaving of art and culture.”
New York Times Book Review
"David Orr has written the best popular explanation to date of the most popular poem in American history."
Wall Street Journal
"[David Orr's] achievement in this shrewd and patient book lies in connecting Frost's deceptively folksy manner with the very things that make him matter."
Christian Science Monitor
"Orr is fascinated by why so many have read this poem so positively for so long, and what this fact reveals about the American soul."
The Boston Globe
"The most satisfying part of Orr’s fresh appraisal of “The Road Not Taken” is the reappraisal it can inspire in longtime Frost readers whose readings have frozen solid. The crossroads between the poet and the man is where Frost leaves his poems for us to discover, turning what seems like a fork in the road into a site of limitless potential, 'in which all decisions are equally likely.'"