A friend of mine was the copy-editor of the 1963 Rinehart Frost, a bibliographical curiosity because its galleys were the last set of Frost’s poems that he corrected in his own hand and he made several small but significant changes. There was an introduction (as if one were needed) by Robert Graves, who had written it, apparently, in an airplane or someplace where Frost’s poems were not at hand. He referred to the famous Frost line, “Something there is that doesn’t like a wall,” which is, of course, wrong, but she hesitated. Should she silently correct “like” to Frost’s “love,” or leave it as it was because it was interesting that this was how Graves remembered the poem? She decided—correctly I think—to leave it.

The publication of Robert Graves’s Translating Rome raises some of these knotty problems. Graves did the three translations—of The...


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