To Orwell Today,

I am curious. Was it "Dedication" (according to The Writer's Almanac at NPR) or "Kitty Hawk" (according to Orwell Today) that Mr. Frost had intended to read at Mr. Kennedy's inaugural?

Regardless, Mr. Frost would still have had a commanding recital.

Why do I ask?

Circa 1969, when a freshman in high school, wow...37 years ago, I recited one of Mr. Frost's poems. I will never forget that.

That's why I need to know.

Thank you,
Carlos

Greetings Carlos,

After doing a web search I see that I was mistaken when I said that Robert Frost had intended to read "Kitty Hawk" at President Kennedy's inaugural. It was, as you suspect, "Dedication" and I have now corrected my THE GIFT OUTRIGHT webpage.

The line, "The land was ours before we were the land's" often pops into my mind. To me it expresses how we, as human beings, have an innate love of our country even before we're conscious of it. I guess that's what makes Robert Frost's poetry so powerful.

Thank you for bringing "Dedication" to my attention on this 45th anniversary of JFK'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS on January 20, 1961.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

"Dedication" (the reading text of a poem Robert Frost composed for delivery at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on 20 January 1961. The poem went undelivered, however, because the sun's glare upon the snow-covered ground blinded Frost from seeing his text. The poet put the manuscript aside and instead recited his poem "The Gift Outright" from memory)

"Dedication" (the complete text)

Jackie Jura
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