Robert Francis

1901–1987
Robert Francis

Robert Francis was born in Upland, Pennsylvania, and studied at Harvard. Although he taught at workshops and lectured at universities across the United States, he lived for over sixty years in the same house near Amherst, Massachusetts. His poems are often charmingly whimsical, presenting conundrums and mysteries with a light, lyrical touch, as in these lines from “The Black Hood”: “Thus do I praise duplicity and damn it. / I hate equivocation and I am it.” Robert Frost, an important influence on the poet, said that Francis was “of all the great neglected poets, the greatest.”

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"I understand the expression and understanding and recitation of the POL poems, but it was more that I didn't realize how much this opportunity would mean to me, or how much it would impact how I feel about my future ... I feel my blood running and heart pounding each time I think of my POL poems and teaching them to people."
Taylor Rogers
2015 MT POL Champion