Jeffrey Meyers: On "The Witch of Coös"

"The Witch of Coös" (named for a county in northern New Hampshire) is a ghost - or skeleton - story inspired by the heroines in the tales of Edgar Poe who burst the confines of their coffins. The down-to-earth narrator confirms the reality of the supernatural events, which were told to him by the witch and her son (two "old-believers," or old-fashioned mediums) when their desire to confess overcame the need to keep their long-held secret. Forty years ago, they told him, a skeleton locked in the cellar carried itself "like a pile of dishes" up two flights of stairs and into the attic. The bones belonged to the woman's ]over, whom her late French-Canadian husband, Toffile Lajway (Théophile LaJoie), had killed and buried under the house. Punning and quoting Chaucer's "Prioress' Tale," Frost said the theme of the poem was "murder will out - he's murder trying to get out."

From Robert Frost: A Biography. Copyright © 1996 by Jeffrey Meyers.


Title Jeffrey Meyers: On "The Witch of Coös" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Jeffrey Meyers Criticism Target Robert Frost
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 04 Feb 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Robert Frost: A Biography
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