ROBERT LEE FROST (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an
American poet. His work was initially published in England before it
was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic
depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial
speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New
England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex
social and philosophical themes. One of the most popular and
critically respected American poets of the twentieth century, Frost
was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer
Prizes for Poetry . He became one of America's rare "public literary
figures, almost an artistic institution." He was awarded the
Congressional Gold Medal
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early years * 1.2 Adult years * 1.3 Personal life
* 2 Work
* 2.1 Style and critical response * 2.2 Themes * 2.3 Influenced by * 2.4 Influenced
* 7 Selected works
* 7.1 Poetry collections * 7.2 Plays * 7.3 Prose books * 7.4 Letters * 7.5 Omnibus volumes * 7.6 Spoken word
* 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 Sources * 11 External links
Robert Frost, circa 1910
Frost's father was a teacher and later an editor of the San Francisco
Evening Bulletin (which later merged with The
Although known for his later association with rural life, Frost grew up in the city, and he published his first poem in his high school's magazine. He attended Dartmouth College for two months, long enough to be accepted into the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Frost returned home to teach and to work at various jobs, including helping his mother teach her class of unruly boys, delivering newspapers, and working in a factory maintaining carbon arc lamps . He did not enjoy these jobs, feeling his true calling was poetry.
Robert Frost's 85th birthday in 1959
In 1894, he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly. An Elegy" (published
in the November 8, 1894, edition of the New York Independent) for $15
($415 today). Proud of his accomplishment, he proposed marriage to
Elinor Miriam White, but she demurred, wanting to finish college (at
St. Lawrence University
In 1912, Frost sailed with his family to
In 1915, during World War I, Frost returned to America, where Holt\'s
American edition of
A Boy's Will had recently been published, and
bought a farm in Franconia,
In 1924, he won the first of four Pulitzer Prizes for the book New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes. He would win additional Pulitzers for Collected Poems in 1931, A Further Range in 1937, and A Witness Tree in 1943.
For forty-two years — from 1921 to 1963 — Frost spent almost
every summer and fall teaching at the
Bread Loaf School of English of
Middlebury College , at its mountain campus at Ripton,
In 1940, he bought a 5-acre (2.0 ha) plot in South Miami, Florida, naming it Pencil Pines; he spent his winters there for the rest of his life. His properties also included a house on Brewster Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that today belongs to the National Historic Register.
Harvard 's 1965 alumni directory indicates Frost received an honorary
degree there. Although he never graduated from college, Frost received
over 40 honorary degrees, including ones from Princeton , Oxford and
Cambridge universities, and was the only person to receive two
honorary degrees from
Dartmouth College . During his lifetime, the
In 1960, Frost was awarded a United States
Congressional Gold Medal
Frost was 86 when he read his well-known poem "
The Gift Outright " at
the inauguration of President
John F. Kennedy
One of the original collections of Frost materials, to which he
himself contributed, is found in the
The Frost family grave in Bennington Old Cemetery
Robert Frost's personal life was plagued with grief and loss. In 1885 when he was 11, his father died of tuberculosis , leaving the family with just eight dollars. Frost's mother died of cancer in 1900. In 1920, he had to commit his younger sister Jeanie to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later. Mental illness apparently ran in Frost's family, as both he and his mother suffered from depression , and his daughter Irma was committed to a mental hospital in 1947. Frost's wife, Elinor, also experienced bouts of depression.
STYLE AND CRITICAL RESPONSE
The poet/critic Randall Jarrell often praised Frost's poetry and wrote, "Robert Frost, along with Stevens and Eliot , seems to me the greatest of the American poets of this century. Frost's virtues are extraordinary. No other living poet has written so well about the actions of ordinary men; his wonderful dramatic monologues or dramatic scenes come out of a knowledge of people that few poets have had, 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.
Jarrell's notable and influential essays on Frost include the essays "Robert Frost's 'Home Burial'" (1962), which consisted of an extended close reading of that particular 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 . U.S stamp, 1974
In Frost's defense, Jarrell wrote "the regular ways of looking at Frost's poetry are grotesque simplifications, distortions, falsifications—coming to know his poetry well ought to be enough, in itself, to dispel any of them, and to make plain the necessity of finding some other way of talking about his work." And Jarrell's close readings of poems like "Neither Out Too Far Nor In Too Deep" led readers and critics to perceive more of the complexities in Frost's poetry.
In an introduction to Jarrell's book of essays,
Brad Leithauser notes
that, "the 'other' Frost that Jarrell discerned behind the genial,
Jarrell lists a selection of the Frost poems he considers the most masterful, including "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," "The Lovely Shall Be Choosers," "Design," "Desert Places." From "Birches"
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
In 2003, the critic Charles McGrath noted that critical views on
Frost's poetry have changed over the years (as has his public image).
In an article called "The Vicissitudes of Literary Reputation,"
McGrath wrote, "
In The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, editors
Richard Ellmann and
Robert O'Clair compared and contrasted Frost's unique style to the
work of the poet
Edwin Arlington Robinson since they both frequently
In providing an overview of Frost's style, the Poetry Foundation makes the same point, placing Frost's work "at the crossroads of nineteenth-century American poetry and modernism ." They also note that Frost believed that "the self-imposed restrictions of meter in form" was more helpful than harmful because he could focus on the content of his poems instead of concerning himself with creating "innovative" new verse forms.
An earlier 1963 study by the poet James Radcliffe Squires spoke to the distinction of Frost as a poet whose verse soars more for the difficulty and skill by which he attains his final visions, than for the philosophical purity of the visions themselves. "'He has written at a time when the choice for the poet seemed to lie among the forms of despair: Science, solipsism, or the religion of the past century…Frost has refused all of these and in the refusal has long seemed less dramatically committed than others…But no, he must be seen as dramatically uncommitted to the single solution…Insofar as Frost allows to both fact and intuition a bright kingdom, he speaks for many of us. Insofar as he speaks through an amalgam of senses and sure experience so that his poetry seems a nostalgic memory with overtones touching some conceivable future, he speaks better than most of us. That is to say, as a poet must."'
The classicist Helen Bacon has proposed that Frost's deep knowledge
of Greek and Roman classics influenced much of his work. Frost’s
education at Lawrence High School, Dartmouth, and Harvard "was based
mainly on the classics." As examples, she links imagery and action in
Frost’s early poems Birches" (1915) and "Wild Grapes" (1920) with
Bacchae ". She cites the certain motifs, including that of
the tree bent down to earth, as evidence of his "very attentive
reading of 'Bacchae', almost certainly in Greek." In a later poem,
"One More Brevity" (1953), Bacon compares the poetic techniques used
by Frost to those of Virgil in the "
In Contemporary Literary Criticism, the editors state that "Frost's best work explores fundamental questions of existence, depicting with chilling starkness the loneliness of the individual in an indifferent universe." The critic T. K. Whipple focused on this bleakness in Frost's work, stating that "in much of his work, particularly in North of Boston, his harshest book, he emphasizes the dark background of life in rural New England, with its degeneration often sinking into total madness."
In sharp contrast, the founding publisher and editor of Poetry ,
Harriet Monroe , emphasized the folksy
POET LAUREATE OF VERMONT
In June 1922 the
NOBEL PRIZE NOMINATIONS
Frost was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature 31 times.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (January 2017)
* A Boy's Will (David Nutt 1913; Holt, 1915)
* North of
* Mountain Interval (Holt, 1916)
* Selected Poems (Holt, 1923)
Includes poems from first three volumes and the poem The Runaway
* "Fire and Ice " * "Nothing Gold Can Stay " * " Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening "
* Several Short Poems (Holt, 1924) * Selected Poems (Holt, 1928)
* West-Running Brook (Holt, 1928? 1929)
* The Lovely Shall Be Choosers, The Poetry Quartos, printed and
illustrated by Paul Johnston (Random House, 1929)
* Collected Poems of
* A Witness Tree (Holt, 1942; Cape, 1943)
* " The Gift Outright " * "A Question " * "The Silken Tent "
* Come In, and Other Poems (Holt, 1943)
* Steeple Bush (Holt, 1947)
* Complete Poems of Robert Frost, 1949 (Holt, 1949; Cape, 1951)
* Hard Not To Be King (House of Books, 1951)
* Aforesaid (Holt, 1954)
* A Remembrance Collection of New Poems (Holt, 1959)
* You Come Too (Holt, 1959; Bodley Head, 1964)
In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962)
* The Poetry of
* A Way Out: A One Act Play (Harbor Press, 1929). * The Cow's in the Corn: A One Act Irish Play in Rhyme (Slide Mountain Press, 1929). * A Masque of Reason (Holt, 1945). * A Masque of Mercy (Holt, 1947).
* The Letters of
* Frost, Robert (February 2014). Sheehy, Donald; Richardson, Mark; Faggen, Robert, eds. The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1, 1886–1920. Belknap Press . ISBN 978-0674057609 . (Harvard University Press imprint; 811 pages; first volume, of five, of the scholarly edition of the poet's correspondence, including many previously unpublished letters.) * Frost, Robert (September 2016). Sheehy, Donald; Richardson, Mark; Haas, Robert Bernard; Atmore, Henry, eds. The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 2, 1920–1928. Belknap Press . ISBN 978-0674726642 . (Harvard University Press imprint; 848 pages; second volume of the series.)
* Collected Poems, Prose and Plays ( Richard Poirier , ed.) (Library of America , 1995) ISBN 978-1-883011-06-2 .
* Biography portal
List of poems by Robert Frost
* ^ "Robert Frost". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 18 February
* ^ A B "Robert Frost". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.).
2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
* ^ A B Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jean C. Stine, Bridget
Broderick, and Daniel G. Marowski. Vol. 26. Detroit: Gale Research,
* ^ Ehrlich, Eugene; Carruth, Gorton (1982). The Oxford Illustrated
Literary Guide to the United States. vol. 50. New York: Oxford
University Press. ISBN 0-19-503186-5 .
* ^ Nancy Lewis Tuten; John Zubizarreta (2001). The Robert Frost
encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 145. ISBN
978-0-313-29464-8 . Halfway through the spring semester of his second
year, Dean Briggs released him from Harvard without prejudice,
lamenting the loss of so good a student.
Jay Parini (2000). Robert Frost: A Life. Macmillan. pp.
64–65. ISBN 978-0-8050-6341-7 .
* ^ Jeffrey Meyers (1996). Robert Frost: a biography. Houghton
Mifflin. Frost remained at Harvard until March of his sophomore year,
when he decamped in the middle of a term ...
* ^ Orr, David (2015-08-18). The Road Not Taken: Finding America in
the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong. Penguin. ISBN
* ^ A B C Voices and Visions. "Robert Frost." NY: PBS, 1988
* ^ Pulitzer Prize Website
* ^ A B C Frost, Robert (1995). Poirier, Richard; Richardson, Mark,
eds. Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays. The Library of America. 81. New
York: Library of America. ISBN 1-883011-06-X .
* ^ Muir, Helen (1995). Frost in Florida. Valiant Press. p. 41.
ISBN 0-9633461-6-4 .
* ^ Office of the Clerk – U.S. House of Representatives,
Congressional Gold Medal
* Pritchard, William H. (2000). "Frost\'s Life and Career" (http).
Retrieved March 18, 2001.
* Taylor, Welford Dunaway (1996).
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