By Makenna Holz
Robert Frost was born in 1874 in San Francisco, California. After his father died in 1885, when he was 11 years old, his mother, having a mere $8 to his name, moved him and his sister, Jeanie, to Massachusetts to live with their grandparents. Frost graduated from high school as co-valedictorian with his future wife, Elinor White. After high school, Frost went to college for a few years, but didn't finish. Elinor refused his proposal as she wanted to finish college. Eventually, they were married after her college graduation.
Frost's grandparents bought a farm for his family to live on, but he proved unsuccessful in farming. Being able to only publish one poem in the United States, the Frosts moved to England, where his first poem book was published and he met contemporary poets Robert Graves, Edward Thomas, and Rupert Brooke.
Robert Frost had to deal with much pain and death. Fifteen years after his father died, Frost's mother died. Jeanie was institutionalized in 1920 and after 9 years she died, 4 out of 6 of Frost's children died in his lifetime, and Elinor, his wife, died in 1938 at the age of 64 from complications of breast cancer. Frost himself had to deal with bouts of depression throughout his life.
Frost’s first poem published was “My Butterfly: an Elegy” in 1894 in a weekly literary journal. After this, he had a hard time getting anything published in the States, so his family moved to England where he had two books of poetry, A Boy’s Will and North of Boston, published. When he returned to the US, Frost was eagerly welcomed into the literary field, and publishers now came asking him for work. Frost eventually ended up being a teacher along with a writer.
Frost received many accolades for his work, including over 40 honorary degrees, 4 Pulitzer prizes and the Congressional Gold Medal. He also had the honor of writing and reciting a poem for the inauguration of John F Kennedy.
My favorite poem by frost is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". The reason I enjoy this poem so much is because it paints a picture in my head. Line 12, "of easy wind and downy flake" gives the reader a wonderful view of the type of snow and wind that are around the author. I can relate well to this poem because I love the woods in the winter; I have experienced the woods on a snowy evening multiple times having grown up in Minnesota!http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/stopping-by-woods-on-a-snowy-evening-2/
Device Example 1: In "Mowing", line 2: “my long scythe whispering to the ground” -Personification
Rationale for selection: In Mowing, there are multiple times where Frost states that his scythe is "whispering". This personification gives the scythe, something nonhuman, human characteristics.
Device Example 2: In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", line 12: "Of easy wind and downy flake" - Sensory imagery
Rationale for selection: This line shows you the type of snow that the author sees as well as the feeling the gentle wind gives. It isn't a blizzard, but a quiet, gentle evening, even though the snow falls. The snowflakes that can be easily seen in my mind's eye in this description are the large, easy to distinguish, gentle and quiet type.
Why I Chose Frost
Robert Frost and his work amaze me. The struggles he had to go through in life show how strong he is to go through it. Frost found out what his talent was and used it. Although he wasn’t the best at everything he did, such as farming, this artistic man was able to work through it and try his best. Frost cultivated his talent through hard work and pursuing the work with all that he was, including moving to a different country for his poetry to be published. Through his writings, he shows himself to be kind and caring about the people around him.
Frost’s poetry shows his love of nature and the beauty he can see through it all. His ability to slow down and view nature amidst a busy life of farming is also amazing. Frost’s work is worthy of study because of the description he uses and the ability he has in using words to paint a picture in the reader’s head. The work he put into his work is also outstanding. He was able to farm, teach, and write poetry, and never even graduated from college. As Amy Lowell says in her perspective on Frost, "Mr. Frost's work is almost photographic" (On Frost's Realistic Technique, Lowell, pg 858 Bedford). He could be called a "painter with words".