Robert Frost was a 20th century American poet, probably best known for his poem “The Road Not Taken”. Most of his poems are grounded in the life of rural New England and address universal topics of good, evil, beauty, joy, and sorrow.
Robert Frost was a 20th century American poet, probably best known for his poem “The Road Not Taken”. Though his poems are grounded in the life of rural New England, they address universal topics of good, evil, beauty, joy, and sorrow. Frost was immensely popular in his lifetime and was selected as the nation’s poet laureate for 1958-1959.
Robert Frost was born in 1874 in San Francisco, California. At age 11, he lost his father and moved with the rest of his family to Lawrence, MA, beginning his experiences in the New England setting that would strongly influence in writing later in life. Frost did not immediately set out to be a poet. He dropped out of college and tried his hand at a number of professions. After his marriage to Elinor White in 1895, he worked to support his family on a New Hampshire farm. Faced with continual failures, Frost and his wife decided to start afresh in England as a poet. From there, Frost successfully published his first two full-length poetry collections in 1913 and 1914. His work was widely appreciated in the States, and Frost continued to publish new volumed regularly. By the 1920s, he was perhaps the best-loved poet in America. This renown gave him security and he resettled in New England, where he spent the rest of his life teaching and writing.
Frost’s subjects were frequently based on his observations of the simple country life that surrounded him in rural New England. The difficulties he experienced and personal loss he endured (four of his six children died tragically young) imbued his poetry with a realism and emotional resonance. While his subjects were simple, the issues they engaged were complex and contemplative. Poems like “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay” describe the beauties of the seasons while simultaneously reflecting on choices and responsibility, beauty and loss. Other poems like “Design” and “Out, Out—” directly address the darkness of death and the brutality of nature.
Frost’s greatest strength was that he wrote using language and subject matter familiar to the ordinary reader. He typically employed traditional verse structures and regular meter, making his poems broadly accessible to the American public. His simple language, familiar meter, and standard use of rhyme made his poetry easy to read, memorize, and recite. Frost’s appeal to the common man earned him four Pulitzer Prizes and secured him a place among America’s most widely read poets to this day.
“Good fences make good neighbors.”
”Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
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