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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
88722 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 161 Comments
72004 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 7 Comments
70896 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 61 Comments
67833 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 398 Comments
60201 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 172 Comments
50727 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 543 Comments
49144 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1012 Comments
46975 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 94 Comments
46306 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 94 Comments
45772 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 16 Comments
41750 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 118 Comments
40114 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 28 Comments
39152 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 271 Comments
37560 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 28 Comments
34516 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 117 Comments
32840 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 93 Comments
31450 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 857 Comments
31086 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 24 Comments
31026 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 642 Comments
30883 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 277 Comments
29287 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 272 Comments
28940 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 302 Comments
28554 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 316 Comments
27480 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 8 Comments
26544 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 85 Comments
26509 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 3 Comments
26360 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 280 Comments
26072 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 81 Comments
25171 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 13 Comments
25087 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 36 Comments
23823 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 268 Comments
23696 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 314 Comments
21719 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 38 Comments
21532 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 265 Comments
21438 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 21 Comments
21239 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 67 Comments
20919 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 297 Comments
20910 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 87 Comments
20764 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
20169 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 276 Comments
19623 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 14 Comments
19323 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 103 Comments
18634 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 491 Comments
18594 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 56 Comments
17959 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 6 Comments
17689 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 66 Comments
17387 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
17333 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 264 Comments
17268 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 260 Comments
16926 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 88 Comments
16792 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 266 Comments
16478 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 324 Comments
16401 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 23 Comments
16320 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 443 Comments
16123 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 6 Comments
16013 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 6 Comments
15959 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 262 Comments
15354 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
15025 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 13 Comments
14924 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 78 Comments
14705 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 25 Comments
14666 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
14637 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 9 Comments
14424 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 7 Comments
13612 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 78 Comments
13597 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 5 Comments
13433 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 10 Comments
13413 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
13150 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 36 Comments
13104 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 30 Comments
12853 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 4 Comments
12835 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 5 Comments
12761 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 460 Comments
12088 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 27 Comments
12031 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 280 Comments
11528 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 75 Comments
11501 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 15 Comments
11414 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 3 Comments
11386 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 6 Comments
11146 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 22 Comments
10890 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 79 Comments
10862 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 141 Comments
10844 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 4 Comments
10814 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 102 Comments
10491 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 453 Comments
9886 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 48 Comments
9834 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 68 Comments
9550 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 273 Comments
9459 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 58 Comments
9419 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 8 Comments
9385 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 6 Comments
9301 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 237 Comments
8795 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 2 Comments
8527 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 245 Comments
7957 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 2 Comments
7725 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 75 Comments
7529 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 7 Comments
7118 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 13 Comments
6951 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
5539 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 215 Comments
5526 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 258 Comments
3509 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1116 Comments
3235 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 564 Comments
2732 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
2680 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1060 Comments
2680 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
2648 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 54 Comments
2551 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 21 Comments
2533 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 57 Comments
2475 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 47 Comments
2298 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 673 Comments
2151 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 338 Comments
2042 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 333 Comments
1972 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 322 Comments
1956 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 18 Comments
1950 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 225 Comments
1950 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 38 Comments
1939 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 487 Comments
1895 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 278 Comments
1876 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 255 Comments
1864 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 53 Comments
1841 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 57 Comments
1773 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 468 Comments
1700 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 114 Comments
1661 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 145 Comments
1593 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 554 Comments
1577 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 709 Comments
1564 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 11 Comments
1505 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 125 Comments
1503 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 255 Comments
1468 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 583 Comments
1450 The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Comments and analysis of The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost 34 Comments
1373 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 37 Comments
1356 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 272 Comments
1347 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 12 Comments
1321 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 274 Comments
1271 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 100 Comments
1262 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 66 Comments
1258 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 10 Comments
1196 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 265 Comments
1184 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 24 Comments
1182 On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations Comments and analysis of On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations by Robert Frost 19 Comments
1170 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 251 Comments
1101 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 59 Comments
1065 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 252 Comments
1039 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 352 Comments
1019 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 23 Comments
1014 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 135 Comments
952 A Boundless Moment
942 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 231 Comments
942 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 59 Comments
932 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 60 Comments
889 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 246 Comments
874 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 75 Comments
872 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 51 Comments
871 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 257 Comments
865 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 7 Comments
825 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 58 Comments
808 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 65 Comments
804 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 247 Comments
771 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 1 Comment
760 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 21 Comments
750 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 12 Comments
723 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 70 Comments
714 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 287 Comments
695 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 4 Comments
664 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 3 Comments
598 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 4 Comments
597 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 14 Comments
500 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 288 Comments
352 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 244 Comments
310 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 11 Comments
198 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 56 Comments
76 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 8 Comments
41 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 53 Comments
36 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 225 Comments
28 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 28 Comments
25 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 305 Comments
12 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 4 Comments
10 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 473 Comments
7 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 3 Comments


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