|Robert Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet.He is highly regarded for his unique contribution to modern American poetry. His work frequently made use of nature and rural settings to discuss complex social and philosophical ideas. He received four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry during his lifetime. Famous poems include: The Road not taken and The Death Of A Hired Man|
Robert Frost – Biography
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874 and after the death of his father he moved with the rest of his family to Massachusetts. He had his first poem published in 1894 by the New York ‘Independent’ it was called ‘My Butterfly: An Elegy’ and earnt him $15. The following year he married Elinor, Elinor encouraged Robert’s poetry and together Robert and Elinor were to have 6 children, two of whom died in infancy. For a brief spell after getting married, Robert and Elinor spent time at Harvard but Robert left after 2 years to start a poultry farm. Robert would make several efforts to run farms throughout his life, but rarely with much financial success.
In 1912 Robert travelled to England where he worked as a full time poet. He came into contact with other poets such as F.S.Flin, Wilfred Gibson, Edward Thomas and Erza Pound. Edward Thomas in particular offered Robert a lot of encouragement, recognising the originality of Frost’s poetry. However with the onset of the First World War Robert returned to American, and from 1916 to 1938 he worked as an English professor at Amerherst college.
Robert Frost was awarded four Pulitzer Prizes, the first one being for ‘New Hampshire in 1924 and the second one for ‘West-Running Brook’. Another significant book of poetry Frost wrote was a volume called ‘Witness Tree’. Some of these poems were darker in tone, partly a reflection on the long series of family tragedies Robert suffered in the 1930s (amongst other things he lost his wife, daughter and son) Robert Frost himself considered these poems to be some of the best he had written, for example ‘The Most of It’ and ‘Never Again Would Birds’ Song Be the Same’
He wrote comparatively little poetry after the second world war but received increasing recognition for his earlier work. He received many honourary degrees including two from Oxford and Cambridge University.
Robert Frost passed away in January 1963.
Robert Frost is considered by many to be America’s finest poet. Robert Frost was a leading figure in the Modernist movement, however unlike his contemporaries such as Eliot or Pound, Robert Frost favoured more traditional metrics and forms of poetry. He also composed his poetry by using the language and experiences of his everyday life, however the beauty of Frost’s poetry lies in its layers of ambiguities and deeper meanings hidden behind these everyday themes. Another aspect of Robert Frost’s poetry was that he liked to read his poems out aloud. Throughout his life he visited many universities giving poetry readings, in which he would also comment on his poems and life in general.
‘ Frost once wrote about Edwin Arlington Robinson that his life was a revel in the felicities of language’, and surely the claim could be made, even more appropriately, of Frost himself… his own poetry, in its complication of tone and its delicate balancing of gravity and wit (‘I am never more serious than when joking,’ he said more than once), asks for constant vigilance on the reader’s part: a listening ear for the special postures of speech and the dramatic effects of silences.”
– William H.Pritchard From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-century Poetry in English. Copyright © 1994 by Oxford University Press.
Robert Frost Poems
Robert Frost Links
- Robert Frost Poetry
- Discussion of Commentary on Robert Frost’s poetry by Sri Chinmoy
- Robert Frost – America’s Poet
- Robert Frost Homepage
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