Robert Frost

Victoria Reyna

Early Life

  • Born March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California
  • Father died when he was 11 years old, so moved with his brother and mother to Massachusetts where his grandparents lived
  • Attended Dartmouth after completing high school as valedictorian
  • Later attended Harvard but had to drop out
  • Had six children with his wife, Elinor Miriam White

Achievements

  • Received 4 Pulitzer prizes
  • Official poet laureate of the Us during the mid 1900s
  • Was asked to write a poem for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy (couldn't read the words in the bright sunlight and instead recited one of his other poems which he had memorized, The Gift Outright)
  • Taught at Amherst College on and off for over 45 years
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Influences/Motivation

  • After he moved to England in 1912, he was exposed to contemporary British poets who influenced some of his style of writing
  • "The Road Not Taken" is said to have been about long walks with Edward Thomas, a close friend of Frost during his rise to fame.
  • Nature, rural life
  • Countryside on which Frost lived for years before moving to England
  • Friends in England: Ezra Pound, Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke
  • His wife, Elinor Miriam White

"Early Frost"

"Early Frost," by William Logan, outlines the life of America's beloved poet and makes connections between his apparently bitter mood and his hardship. Frost had a very different style from that of other poets during the early 1900s; instead of practicing free verse poems, Frost believed that structure was key, instead focusing on the lyrical essence of his works. The poet also displayed a vast sense of pride for his work, often acknowledging his abundant talent, and had very few close friends, one of which died early in 1917. He always spoke his mind, unafraid to admit his lack of support for women's and black's rights. His depression and moodiness is suggested to be related to the deaths of his wife and three of their children, one from cholera, one from suicide, and one in childbirth. However, it appears that new letters and notes original to Robert Frost have been found, and may hopefully reveal his gentler side.



http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/books/review/the-letters-of-robert-frost-volume-1-1886-1920.html?ref=topics&_r=0

Robert Frost and the Gilded Age

  • The Gilded Age was focused on mass transportation to cities and marked by overworking-Frost held many occupations and was seldom not working, whether on a farm, in a mill, or teaching, etc.
  • Realism- described the day to day life of the common man, a theme often seen in Frost's poems (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)
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Robert Frost and The Romantic Era

  • Though Frost was born shortly after the Romantic Era, his works often involve romantic ideals and themes, suggesting that he would have thrived even more in this time period.
  • Five Is of Romanticism: Individuality, Intuition, Imagination, Idealism, Inspiration
  • Many poems focus on the power of nature, seeing a sort of god in nature- Transcendentalist
  • Individuality- The Road Not Taken
  • Idealism, Imagination- Bond and Free
  • In order to become successful in this time period, it was necessary to focus on the individual and free spirit. To become successful, I would have written about the importance of following your dreams, not the society's dreams for you, and becoming the kind of person who has the ability to make a positive impact on the world.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference."

Bond and Free

Love has earth to which she clings

With hills and circling arms about--

Wall within wall to shut fear out.

But Thought has no need of such things,

For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings


On snow and sand and turf, I see

Where Love has left a printed trace

With straining in the world's embrace.

And such is Love and glad to be.

But Thought has shaken his ankles free.


Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom

And sits in Sirius' disc all night,

Till day makes him retrace his flight,

With smell of burning on every plume

Back past the sun to an earthly room.


His gains in heaven are what they are.

Yet some say Love by being thrall

And simply staying possesses all

In several beauty that Thought fares far

To find fused in another star.

Bond and Free cont.

  • Context: Published in 1916, during WWI
  • Reflects the increasing support of love over thought throughout time, this idea started in the mid 1800s but continued until the present day
  • Durning the war era especially, the ideas of love and peace needed to be understood so poets could use some heir work as a way to convince their readers of its importance
  • Structured style, sticks to rhyme theme, 7-9 syllables per line
  • Narrative, descriptive: uses imagery to paint a picture of how Thought realizes his bondage
  • Possible theme: "The heart, even when in bondage, is more powerful than the mind."
"Love conquers all."
  • Poem makes the greatest use of Personification, primarily Love and Thought
  • Also, the shift between stanzas 2 and 3 plays a large role in the message of the poem.
  • During the Age of Reason, the poem most likely would have been neglected as the piece points out the flaws in the freedom and benefit of intelligence.
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Robert Frost vs. Edgar Allen Point

  • Similar: Structured style,

-no free verse poems,

-poetry tells a story, narration

-very descriptive


  • Differences- Po: eerie poems, usually involve some form of murder

-more straightforward in narration

-powerful voice, often seems as if he is yelling at his readers

-portrays emotion in punctuation

-Poems focus mainly on thoughts and dreams and the mind


  • Differences- Frost: mix of lighthearted poems and more sorrowful themes

-often makes great use of metaphors and figurative language

-bases most of his poems off of personal experience

Works Cited

"Edward Thomas." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

“Robert Frost.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

Frost, Robert. Mountain Interval. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967. Print.

"Robert Frost." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

"Robert Frost Picture." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

"Robert Frost Picture." frostpoetry.blogspot.com N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

"Robert Frost Family." Poem Shape. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

"Lawrence History Timeline." Lawrence History Timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

"Robert Frost." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

"The Rise of Realism." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Gilded Age Summary & Analysis."Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Logan, William. "Early Frost." The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 June 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.