“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” – Robert Frost
Robert Frost was a poet from the United States who won four Pulitzer Prizes. “Fire and Ice,” “Mending Wall,” “Birches,” “Out Out,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” and “Home Burial” are among his most well-known works. “The Road Not Taken,” a poem he wrote in 1916, is frequently read at graduation ceremonies across the United States. Frost became a lyrical force and the unofficial “poet laureate” of the United States as a distinguished guest at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Frost was unnoticed for the first 40 years of his life. After returning from England at the start of World War I, he blasted into the scene. On January 29, 1963, he died as a result of complications from prostate surgery.
Robert Frost was born to journalist William Prescott Frost, Jr. and Isabelle Moodie in San Francisco, California. His mother was Scottish, and his father was a descendant of Nicholas Frost of Tiverton, Devon, England, who went to New Hampshire on the Wolfrana in 1634.
Frost’s father was a teacher who eventually became the editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin (which merged into the San Francisco Examiner) and ran for municipal tax collector but was unsuccessful. Following his father’s death on May 5, 1885, the family relocated to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where they were welcomed by (Robert’s grandfather) William Frost, Sr., who worked as an overseer at a New England mill. Frost attended Lawrence High School and graduated in 1892. Frost’s mother became a member of the Swedenborgian church and had him baptised there, but as an adult he left.
Frost grew up in the city and published his first poem in his high school’s magazine, despite his later relationship with country life. He spent enough time at Dartmouth College to be accepted into the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Frost returned to his hometown to teach and work in a variety of professions, including newspaper delivery and industrial labour. He despised these vocations and felt compelled to pursue his true destiny as a poet.
My Butterfly: An Elegy, published in the November 8, 1894 edition of the New York Independent, was his debut poem, and he sold it for fifteen dollars in 1894. He proposed marriage to Elinor Miriam White, who declined because she wanted to finish college at St. Lawrence University before they married. Frost subsequently went on a trip to Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, and when he returned, he asked Elinor again. She consented after graduating, and they married at Harvard University, where he studied liberal arts for two years.
He excelled at Harvard but had to leave to support his growing family. Grandfather Frost had bought the young couple a farm in Derry, New Hampshire, just before his death, and Robert worked the farm for nine years while writing early in the mornings and penning many of the poems that would eventually become renowned.After failing at farming, he returned to teaching English at Pinkerton Academy from 1906 to 1911, and then at the New Hampshire Normal School (now Plymouth State University) in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Frost and his family sailed to the United Kingdom in 1912, first settling in Glasgow and then Beaconsfield, just outside of London. A Boy’s Will, his debut collection of poetry, was published the following year. In England, he met a number of notable people, including Edward Thomas, a member of the Dymock Poets, T.E. Hulme, and Ezra Pound. Pound would go on to write the first review of Frost’s work in the United States. Frost wrote some of his best work while in England, surrounded by his contemporaries.
Frost returned to America in 1915, just as World War I broke out. He purchased a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, and began a career as a writer, teacher, and lecturer. This family homestead served as the Frosts’ summer home until 1938, and is maintained today as ‘The Frost Place’, a museum and poetry conference site at Franconia. During the years 1916–20, 1923–24, and 1927–1938, Frost taught English at Amherst College, Massachusetts, notably encouraging his students to account for the sounds of the human voice in their writing.
Frost spent practically every summer and fall at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, on the mountain campus in Ripton, Vermont, for forty-two years, from 1921 to 1963. Frost is credited as having a significant impact on the establishment of the school and its writing programmes; the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference rose to prominence during his tenure. The college now owns and preserves his former Ripton property near the Bread Loaf campus as a national historic monumentFrost obtained a fellowship teaching position at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1921, and stayed there until 1927, when he was named a Fellow in Letters at the university for life. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan presently houses the Robert Frost Ann Arbor residence. In 1927, Frost returned to Amherst. In 1940 he bought a 5-acre plot in South Miami, Florida, naming it Pencil Pines; he spent his winters there for the rest of his life.
Frost obtained an honorary degree from Harvard in 1965, according to the university’s alumni directory. He also received honorary degrees from Bates College, Oxford and Cambridge universities, and Dartmouth College, where he was the first person to obtain two honorary degrees. Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, and Amherst College’s main library were both named for him during his lifetime.
On January 20, 1961, at the age of 86, Frost addressed and did a reading of his poetry during President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. He died of complications from prostate surgery two years later, on January 29, 1963, in Boston. He was laid to rest in Bennington, Vermont’s Old Bennington Cemetery. I had a lover’s quarrel with the world, reads his epitaph.
Frost’s poems are discussed in the Oxford University Press’s Anthology of Modern American Poetry, where it is stated that, under a sometimes pleasantly familiar and rural façade, Frost’s poetry frequently offers pessimistic and frightening undertones that are generally overlooked.
The Special Collections department of the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts, houses one of the original collections of Frost items, to which he donated. The collection contains over a thousand objects, including original manuscript poetry and letters, correspondence, photographs, and audio and visual recordings, as well as audio and visual recordings.
WORK: WRITING STYLE AND RESPONSE
Frost’s poetry was frequently lauded by poet/critic Randall Jarrell, who remarked, “Robert Frost, along with Stevens and Eliot, appears to me the finest of the American poets of this century.” Frost possesses exceptional qualities.
No other living poet has written as well about ordinary men’s actions; his wonderful dramatic monologues or dramatic scenes are written in verse that uses, sometimes with absolute mastery, the rhythms of actual speech; and they are written in a verse that uses, sometimes with absolute mastery, the rhythms of actual speech. He also praised Frost’s seriousness and honesty, stating that Frost was particularly skilled at representing a wide range of human experience in his poems.
Robert Frost’s ‘Home Burial (1962), which consisted of an extended close reading of that poem, and To The Laodiceans (1952), in which Jarrell defended Frost against critics who had accused Frost of being too traditional and out of touch with Modern or Modernist poetry, are two of Jarrell’s notable and influential essays on Frost.
Regular methods of looking at Frost’s poetry are grotesque simplifications, distortions, falsifications—getting to know his poetry well should be enough to dispel any of them, and to make obvious the requirement of finding some alternative manner of talking about his work, according to Jarrell. And Jarrell’s attentive readings of poems like Neither Out Too Far Nor In Too Deep helped readers and critics see Frost’s poetry in a new light.
Brad Leithauser writes in the introduction to Jarrell’s book of essays that the ‘other’ Frost he saw behind the genial, homespun New England rustic—the ‘dark’ Frost who was desperate, frightened, and brave—has become the Frost we’ve all come to recognise, and the little-known poems Jarrell singled out as central to the Frost canon are now to be found in most anthologies. The Witch of Coös, Home Burial, A Servant to Servants, Directive, Neither Out Too Far Nor In Too Deep, Provide, Provide, Acquainted with the Night, After Apple Picking, Mending Wall, The Most of It, An Old Man’s Winter Night, To Earthward, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Spring Pools are among the Frost poems Jarrell considers the best.
ROBERT FROST POEMS
- The Road Not Taken
- Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evenin
- Fire And Ice
- Nothing Gold Can Stay
- A Late Walk.
- Acquainted With The Night
- A Minor Bird
- A Soldier
- A Prayer In Spring
- A Brook In The City
- The Rose Family
- A Time To Talk
PULITZER PRIZES: 4 TIMES
• 1924 for New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes
• 1931 for Collected Poems
• 1937 for A Further Range
• 1943 for A Witness Tree
Robert Lee Frost was a poet from the United States. He is well-known for his realistic depictions of rural life as well as his knowledge of American slang. His writing usually used settings from early twentieth-century rural life in New England to explore complicated social and philosophical concerns. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.
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