The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

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The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

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The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

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President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

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Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

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The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

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This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.


Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years After His Death

Jan 29, 2013
Originally published on January 29, 2013 8:36 am

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Robert Frost, famous for such poems as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken." Fans of Frost's works have another reason to pay special attention to his legacy this week: Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has just donated a rare collection of Frost materials to the university.

Frost was a family friend of the Reicherts, and though Jonathan Reichert was nearly 60 years younger than the iconic poet, he nevertheless had a meaningful friendship with him. "I wasn't afraid to talk to him, and he, I think, was very willing to engage with me," Reichert says. "I was very lucky in that way."

"He was always wrestling with big ideas ... and what was interesting is later on you discovered that that talk appeared in poems," Reichert remembers. "Conversations in our schoolhouse in Vermont, long evenings of conversation ... and then later, a new poem would be published, and there would be lines you'd swear you'd heard before."

One of the "big ideas" that preoccupied Frost was religion, and many Frost scholars have puzzled over the poet's religious views. Reichert says Frost summarized his faith by calling himself an "Old Testament Christian."

"He saw that the laws that Judaism had built up really were not the essence, and that Jesus was a great prophet, rather than seeing Jesus as the son of God, or the savior," Reichert said. "That's how I interpret what he meant when he said, 'I'm an Old Testament Christian.'"

Frost's personal religious views remain mysterious to this day, but according to Reichert, that's the way the poet would have wanted it: "Frost liked to play with you. He liked to leave mysteries. He did not like to spell — I mean, that's what a poet is — a poet doesn't lay out ... a poet gives you a metaphor and lets you wrestle with it."

An exhibit featuring letters, photographs, recordings and other materials from the collection will be open to the public at the State University of New York at Buffalo for two months, beginning Jan. 31.

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Next, we'll recall a poet of the modern era who didn't seem modern at all.


Even when he was writing in the first half of the 20th century, the poetry of Robert Frost seemed a little old-fashioned. He rhymed in an age of free verse.

MONTAGNE: And in a time of mass urbanization and spreading technology, he set his poems in the New England countryside. Yet long after his death, which came 50 years ago today, the words of Robert Frost still resonate.


ROBERT FROST: (Reading) Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village, though.

MONTAGNE: We're listening to the Frost poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."


FROST: (Reading) You will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer to stop without a farmhouse near between the woods and frozen lake, the darkest evening of the year.

INSKEEP: The poem goes on: The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

MONTAGNE: Robert Frost was 88 when he passed away in Boston in 1963, after a lifetime of writing that earned him four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry. This week, a collection of his letters, photos and recordings is being made public for the first time. They're at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

INSKEEP: This collection comes from Jonathan Reichert, a retired professor who, as a young man, met Robert Frost.

JONATHAN REICHERT: I wasn't afraid to talk to him. And he, I think, was very willing to engage with me, and I was very lucky in that way.

MONTAGNE: Robert Frost was a friend of the Reichert family, and sometimes shared his thoughts with the much-younger man.

REICHERT: He was always wrestling with big ideas. And what was interesting is, later on, you discovered that that talk appeared in poems. Conversations in our schoolhouse in Vermont, long evenings of conversation, and then later a new poem would be published, and there would be lines you'd swear you'd heard before.

INSKEEP: One of the big ideas that preoccupied Frost was religion, but scholars have puzzled for decades over Robert Frost's own religious beliefs. Jonathan Reichert's father was a rabbi, and among the documents in Reichert's collection is a sermon that Frost delivered at a synagogue.

MONTAGNE: We asked Reichert to read a short passage from that sermon.

REICHERT: (Reading) Now, religion always seems to me to come around to something beyond wisdom. It is the straining of the spirit forward to a wisdom beyond wisdom.

MONTAGNE: Those are Frost's words, though ultimately, this sermon says little about the poet's own faith. But Reichert says that's the way Frost would have wanted it.

REICHERT: Frost liked to play with you. He liked to leave mysteries. He did not like to spell - I mean, that's what a poet is. A poet doesn't lay out. A poet gives you a metaphor and lets you wrestle with it.

INSKEEP: Miles to go before I sleep. Jonathan Reichert on his friendship with the poet Robert Frost, who died 50 years ago today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.