March 26, 1874, San Francisco, CA
|Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg, 1960
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
March 26, 1874
San Francisco, California
January 29, 1963
Robert Frost was, quite simply, one of Americas leading 20th century poets. It could be because he wrote poems about rural life, drawing a distinct contrast between its innocence and peacefulness, and the depression and corruption of city life. It could also be because he used traditional verse forms that were understood by one and all. It might even be that people sensed his step forward in the direction of modernizing the interplay of rhythm and meter while writing exactly how people spoke. His poetry has been called traditional, experimental, regional, universal, and even pastoral.
After his fathers death in 1885, when Frost was eleven years old, his family left California for Massachusetts. His teenage years and early twenties consisted of various jobs including teaching, working in a mill, reporting and editing, and working as a cobbler. In 1895, Frost married Elinor White and for the next ten years his life would be devoted to writing his rarely published poems. He operated a farm and taught school at the Pinkerton Academy in his town of Derry, New Hampshire. Finally, in 1912, at age 38, he sold the farm in Derry and used the money to move his family to England in order to make a name for himself. He accomplished this overseas and back in the states.
The Frosts returned to the United States in February of 1915. Henry Holt and Company was Frosts primary American publisher. The proceeds from his books allowed him to buy a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, where he continued to write, teach, and lecture. Frost received numerous academic, literary, and public honors and also won the Pulitzer Prize four times. He won it for New Hampshire in 1923, Collected Poems in 1930, A Further Range in 1936, and A Witness Tree in 1942.
Robert Frosts first professional poem My Butterfly was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent. This was the first of many powerful and memorable published poems. Robert Frosts work was centered around the life and landscape of the land he loved, but his command of the lyrical verse, the art of conversation, and his use of irony and human fears is what truly brought his words to life. His students adored him and his work will enlighten readers for many years to come.
Additional Learning Links
The Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets has put together this exhibit complete with an audio version of The Road Not Taken and many of his other poems. A short biography is also included.
Source: The Academy of American Poets
The Friends of Robert Frost have established a museum minutes away from Frosts gravesite in Bennington, Vermont. Learn more about it and the places and poetry of Robert Frost here. There are special exhibits, discussions, a reading list, critical essays, memoirs, and interviews. Check out the tutorial for students with questions.
Source: The Friends of Robert Frost
- APA style
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- The Chicago Manual of Style
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- CBE/CSE style
- classbrain, Frost, Robert [Internet]. ClassBrain Holidays; 2014 January 21, 22:43 UTC [cited 2017 Jul 24]. Available from: http://classbrain.net/holidays/frost-robert/.
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- AMA style
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