Crossing to Safety Crossing to Safety question


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One more question...the title?
Rebecca Rebecca Oct 30, 2011 07:19AM
Hey Book Groupies,

One more questions for you because I'm curious what you think....

why did stegner title the book "Crossing to Safety?"

Share your thoughts.



Yes, Stegner takes the title from the Robert Frost poem "I Could Give All to Time."

"I could give all to Time except-except
What I myself have held. But why declare
The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There
And what I would not part with I have kept."

I think it refers to the passage of time and the things that are lost along the way, as well as the things that remain like love and friendship.


Thanks for the information about the title. I was curious about that.

I greatly enjoyed this book. It's one of the few I've read that focus on long-term relationships of depth, complexity, and mostly joy despite some suffering. Any other recommendations along similar lines?

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Karen One of my favorite authors is Anne Tyler. Her books are more character driven than plot driven. She has a very different writing style than Stegner, t ...more
Jul 14, 2014 06:45PM · flag
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John Koch Angle of Repose is brilliant and Stegner does a good job focusing on relationships as well!
Jan 11, 2015 12:42PM · flag

Isn't it from a Robert Frost poem? "I could give all to time".

There are many "border crossings" in the novel, I think it is a wonderful title.


excellent discussion~~


I didn't get the title either, but I loved the book. The writing ... brilliant, and then some!


I see Stegner "declare/ The things forbidden" in his excellent declarations on the difficult labor conditions of college teachers and on the hard choices to be made by those determined to die the way they want to. Both issues are not often handled well in our culture. Both are easier to sneak through Customs than to address out loud. Charity would like to cross with a list made out in advance, based on a respected authority. But her compass heading is not likely to work in all the tangled terrain of real life. Larry would just put his head down and bulldoze through the hardship till his legs are worn down to stumps. Whatever the hardships, love helps lots.


This puzzled me too, for awhile. I believe it refers to the theme of rescue. Several rescues are written about in many subtle ways and not so subtle ways.


I really think the title has a lot to with Larry Morgan's "crossing to [the] safety" of a secure life via the safety net provided by Sid and Charity Lang. Larry and Sally were manipulated into being like kids in a candy shop with a blank check. Who could resist? Sid and Charity really needed the Morgan's, but in the end I think Larry Morgan could've stretched himself to the same result.


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