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Biography of Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Robert Lee Frost, b. San Francisco, Mar. 26, 1874, d. Boston, Jan. 29, 1963, was one of America's leading 20th-century poets and a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. An essentially pastoral poet often associated with rural New England, Frost wrote poems whose philosophical dimensions transcend any region. Although his verse forms are traditional - he often said, in a dig at arch rival Carl Sandburg, that he would as soon play tennis without a net as write free verse - he was a pioneer in the interplay of rhythm and meter and in the poetic use of the vocabulary and inflections of everyday speech. His poetry is thus both traditional and experimental, regional and universal.

After his father's death in 1885, when young Frost was 11, the family left California and settled in Massachusetts. Frost attended high school in that state, entered Dartmouth College, but remained less than one semester. Returning to Massachusetts, he taught school and worked in a mill and as a newspaper reporter. In 1894 he sold "My Butterfly: An Elegy" to The Independent, a New York literary journal. A year later he married Elinor White, with whom he had shared valedictorian honors at Lawrence (Mass.) High School. From 1897 to 1899 he attended Harvard College as a special student but left without a degree. Over the next ten years he wrote (but rarely published) poems, operated a farm in Derry, New Hampshire (purchased for him by his paternal grandfather), and supplemented his income by teaching at Derry's Pinkerton Academy.

In 1912, at the age of 38, he sold the farm and used the proceeds to take his family to England, where he could devote himself entirely to writing. His efforts to establish himself and his work were almost immediately successful. A Boy's Will was accepted by a London publisher and brought out in 1913, followed a year later by North of Boston. Favorable reviews on both sides of the Atlantic resulted in American publication of the books by Henry Holt and Company, Frost's primary American publisher, and in the establishing of Frost's transatlantic reputation.

As part of his determined efforts on his own behalf, Frost had called on several prominent literary figures soon after his arrival in England. One of these was Ezra Pound, who wrote the first American review of Frost's verse for Harriet Munroe's Poetry magazine. (Though he disliked Pound, Frost was later instrumental in obtaining Pound's release from long confinement in a Washington, D.C., mental hospital.) Frost was more favorably impressed and more lastingly influenced by the so-called Georgian poets Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, and T. E. Hulme, whose rural subjects and style were more in keeping with his own. While living near the Georgians in Gloucestershire, Frost became especially close to a brooding Welshman named Edward Thomas, whom he urged to turn from prose to poetry. Thomas did so, dedicating his first and only volume of verse to Frost before his death in World War I.

The Frosts sailed for the United States in February 1915 and landed in New York City two days after the U.S. publication of North of Boston (the first of his books to be published in America). Sales of that book and of A Boy's Will enabled Frost to buy a farm in Franconia, N.H.; to place new poems in literary periodicals and publish a third book, Mountain Interval (1916); and to embark on a long career of writing, teaching, and lecturing. In 1924 he received a Pulitzer Prize in poetry for New Hampshire (1923). He was lauded again for Collected Poems (1930), A Further Range (1936) and A Witness Tree (1942). Over the years he received an unprecedented number and range of literary, academic, and public honors.

Frost's importance as a poet derives from the power and memorability of particular poems. The Death of the Hired Man (from North of Boston) combines lyric and dramatic poetry in blank verse. After Apple-Picking (from the same volume) is a free-verse dream poem with philosophical undertones. Mending Wall (also published in North of Boston) demonstrates Frost's simultaneous command of lyrical verse, dramatic conversation, and ironic commentary. The Road Not Taken, Birches (from Mountain Interval) and the oft-studied Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (from New Hampshire) exemplify Frost's ability to join the pastoral and philosophical modes in lyrics of unforgettable beauty.

The poetic and political conservatism of Frost caused him to lose favor with some literary critics, but his reputation as a major poet is secure. He unquestionably succeeded in realizing his life's ambition: to write "a few poems it will be hard to get rid of."


Biography by: Biography written by The Academic American Encyclopedia, © 1995 Grolier Electronic Publishing. Compiled and hyperlinked by Gunnar Bengtsson, 2000.


180 Poems written by Robert Frost

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
78950 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 81 Comments
56785 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1081 Comments
55516 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 583 Comments
52151 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 117 Comments
34716 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 673 Comments
34357 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 900 Comments
33873 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 301 Comments
32256 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 334 Comments
31521 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 332 Comments
29659 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 342 Comments
29178 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 113 Comments
27982 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 357 Comments
26365 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 289 Comments
24187 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 64 Comments
23915 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 294 Comments
23913 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 48 Comments
23611 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 121 Comments
22282 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 308 Comments
21389 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 21 Comments
21321 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 520 Comments
21247 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 121 Comments
20821 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 81 Comments
19660 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 293 Comments
19438 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 80 Comments
19307 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 285 Comments
18788 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 470 Comments
18389 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 360 Comments
18387 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 45 Comments
18344 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 31 Comments
18165 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 287 Comments
18082 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
17271 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
17250 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 103 Comments
16721 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 41 Comments
16524 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 4 Comments
16391 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 106 Comments
15345 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 50 Comments
14903 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
14598 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 314 Comments
14565 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 19 Comments
14561 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 48 Comments
14486 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 11 Comments
13507 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 11 Comments
13328 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 123 Comments
12663 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 103 Comments
12286 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
11677 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 302 Comments
11331 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 68 Comments
11071 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 264 Comments
11007 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 31 Comments
10649 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
10167 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 281 Comments
9587 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 103 Comments
9515 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 14 Comments
9076 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 615 Comments
8895 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 23 Comments
8532 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 36 Comments
8367 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
7676 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 294 Comments
6803 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 51 Comments
6686 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 347 Comments
6293 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 24 Comments
6139 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 322 Comments
5988 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 354 Comments
5970 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 78 Comments
5945 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 38 Comments
5840 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 77 Comments
5768 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 318 Comments
5681 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 27 Comments
5521 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 313 Comments
5430 Never Again Would Bird's Song Be The Same Comments and analysis of Never Again Would Bird's Song Be The Same by Robert Frost 599 Comments
5390 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 509 Comments
5230 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 275 Comments
4905 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 309 Comments
4896 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 245 Comments
4813 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 184 Comments
4754 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1192 Comments
4739 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 228 Comments
4378 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 658 Comments
4321 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 82 Comments
4249 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 133 Comments
4219 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 13 Comments
4200 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 120 Comments
3866 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1136 Comments
3866 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
3780 On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations Comments and analysis of On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations by Robert Frost 46 Comments
3671 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 299 Comments
3511 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 73 Comments
3486 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 404 Comments
3480 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 14 Comments
3259 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 729 Comments
3230 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 257 Comments
3214 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 28 Comments
3155 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 302 Comments
3100 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 302 Comments
2976 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 252 Comments
2914 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 145 Comments
2879 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 499 Comments
2860 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 73 Comments
2825 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 46 Comments
2764 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 17 Comments
2762 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 71 Comments
2734 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 23 Comments
2674 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 83 Comments
2614 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 87 Comments
2610 A Boundless Moment
2600 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 302 Comments
2567 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 61 Comments
2468 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 7 Comments
2465 A Fountain, a Bottle, a Donkey's Ears, and Some Books Comments and analysis of A Fountain, a Bottle, a Donkey's Ears, and Some Books by Robert Frost 260 Comments
2361 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 16 Comments
2266 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 99 Comments
2138 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 91 Comments
1954 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 115 Comments
1932 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 25 Comments
1834 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 37 Comments
1778 The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Comments and analysis of The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost 46 Comments
1754 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 162 Comments
1737 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 152 Comments
1709 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 72 Comments
1704 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 32 Comments
1649 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 274 Comments
1548 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 275 Comments
1542 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 304 Comments
1366 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 96 Comments
1342 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 87 Comments
1288 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 49 Comments
1225 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 33 Comments
1213 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 485 Comments
1174 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 29 Comments
1111 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 40 Comments
1060 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 314 Comments
975 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 29 Comments
967 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 92 Comments
963 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 17 Comments
902 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 369 Comments
887 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 20 Comments
815 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
782 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 342 Comments
741 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 225 Comments
629 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 204 Comments
626 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 81 Comments
596 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
589 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
510 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 24 Comments
475 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 23 Comments
456 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 54 Comments
454 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 447 Comments
419 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 92 Comments
327 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 41 Comments
325 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 152 Comments
323 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 88 Comments
313 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 80 Comments
297 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 4 Comments
291 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 491 Comments
277 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 66 Comments
277 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 280 Comments
275 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 54 Comments
261 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 27 Comments
248 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 523 Comments
224 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 57 Comments
210 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 7 Comments
209 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 113 Comments
209 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 45 Comments
207 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 162 Comments
206 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 4 Comments
198 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 23 Comments
195 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 15 Comments
192 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 28 Comments
165 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 300 Comments
143 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
131 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 296 Comments
122 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
109 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 46 Comments
90 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 30 Comments
80 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
80 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 760 Comments
75 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 76 Comments
50 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 113 Comments
48 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 72 Comments
24 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 296 Comments


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