Robert Frost, New Car Salesman
If you were watching the Winter X Games this weekend, you probably remember a commercial featuring what’s likely the voice of Robert Frost reading from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" as a Jeep frolicks in the wintry elements ("And miles to go before I sleep").
It is no longer shocking that national icons are used for commercial purposes — the sound of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was heard in a Chevy-sponsored ad for the MLK Memorial last summer.
The first reflex upon hearing Robert Frost hawking a car is to gag. (A caption lists the poem’s title and says the excerpt was licensed from his publisher.)
But thinking a bit longer about this, one wonders whether it’s not such a bad concept. After all, the ad exposes millions more people to Frost’s treasured words and voice.
Is commercialization the price of culture and learning in America today? It’s hard to say, but “the woods are lovely, dark and deep.”
Photo: Library of Congress