The Gift Outright

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"The Gift Outright" is a poem written by Robert Frost. Frost first recited it at the College of William & Mary on December 5, 1941, but its most famous recitation occurred on January 20, 1961 at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.[1]

Publication and inaugural recitation[edit]

The poem was first published in the Virginia Quarterly Review in Spring 1942. It was collected in Frost's volume A Witness Tree in 1943. According to Jeffrey S. Cramer the poem may have been written as early as 1936.[1][2]

At the presidential inauguration Frost recited "The Gift Outright" from memory instead of reading his new poem "For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tuten, Nancy Lewis; Zubizarreta, John (2001). The Robert Frost Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 9780313294648
  2. ^ Cramer, Jeffrey S. (1996). Robert Frost among His Poems: A Literary Companion to the Poet's Own Biographical Contexts and Associations. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
  3. ^ "Poetry and Power: Robert Frost's Inaugural Reading". Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2013.

External links[edit]