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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
91418 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 169 Comments
74922 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 8 Comments
73716 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 65 Comments
52095 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 551 Comments
51335 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1040 Comments
48543 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 102 Comments
48170 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 101 Comments
46883 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 21 Comments
42226 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 38 Comments
38188 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 34 Comments
35363 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 122 Comments
34054 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 94 Comments
32229 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 867 Comments
32178 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 652 Comments
32105 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 28 Comments
32061 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 286 Comments
30016 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 281 Comments
29746 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 321 Comments
29681 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 314 Comments
27487 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 3 Comments
27380 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 97 Comments
27367 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 297 Comments
25732 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 42 Comments
24894 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 327 Comments
24624 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 277 Comments
22469 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 45 Comments
22298 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 271 Comments
22278 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 29 Comments
21821 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 71 Comments
21648 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 95 Comments
21525 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 303 Comments
21393 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
20751 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 290 Comments
20280 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 14 Comments
19925 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 106 Comments
19546 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 501 Comments
19373 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 62 Comments
18531 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 6 Comments
18282 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 69 Comments
18018 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 268 Comments
17951 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 266 Comments
17793 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 279 Comments
17722 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 92 Comments
17255 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 6 Comments
17106 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 31 Comments
17035 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 332 Comments
16928 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 448 Comments
16725 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 11 Comments
16584 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 268 Comments
16330 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
15966 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
15626 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 87 Comments
15470 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 28 Comments
15257 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
15214 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 13 Comments
15195 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 13 Comments
15093 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
14363 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 84 Comments
14268 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 7 Comments
13951 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
13818 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 38 Comments
13603 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 32 Comments
13504 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 9 Comments
13391 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 6 Comments
12858 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 292 Comments
12323 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 4 Comments
12170 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 79 Comments
12142 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 20 Comments
12087 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 9 Comments
11761 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 108 Comments
11391 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 83 Comments
11320 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
11169 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 464 Comments
10521 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 76 Comments
10403 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 53 Comments
10153 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 8 Comments
10105 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 281 Comments
9945 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 11 Comments
9783 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 245 Comments
9380 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
9138 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 259 Comments
8467 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 2 Comments
8286 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 80 Comments
7990 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 10 Comments
7612 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 18 Comments
7445 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
6245 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 217 Comments
6149 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 267 Comments
5005 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 592 Comments
4136 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 48 Comments
4020 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 22 Comments
3847 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 351 Comments
3662 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 329 Comments
3621 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 61 Comments
3398 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 46 Comments
3391 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 340 Comments
3347 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 291 Comments
3195 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 265 Comments
3114 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 22 Comments
3025 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 62 Comments
3005 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 235 Comments
2973 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 501 Comments
2868 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 479 Comments
2771 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 573 Comments
2752 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 261 Comments
2663 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 57 Comments
2613 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 720 Comments
2600 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 12 Comments
2586 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 123 Comments
2565 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 158 Comments
2487 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 274 Comments
2446 The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Comments and analysis of The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost 37 Comments
2437 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 134 Comments
2268 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 10 Comments
2238 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 616 Comments
2221 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 103 Comments
2188 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 15 Comments
2126 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 284 Comments
2125 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 295 Comments
2075 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 277 Comments
2069 On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations Comments and analysis of On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations by Robert Frost 26 Comments
2057 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 28 Comments
2037 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 286 Comments
1954 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 70 Comments
1920 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 260 Comments
1865 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 34 Comments
1736 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 12 Comments
1729 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 319 Comments
1700 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 365 Comments
1602 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 66 Comments
1566 A Boundless Moment
1553 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 141 Comments
1527 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 64 Comments
1526 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 275 Comments
1524 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 60 Comments
1514 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 239 Comments
1507 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 13 Comments
1485 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
1434 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 7 Comments
1404 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 12 Comments
1373 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 53 Comments
1342 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 254 Comments
1338 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 60 Comments
1315 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 71 Comments
1255 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 1 Comment
1254 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 289 Comments
1224 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 80 Comments
1185 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 4 Comments
1148 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 62 Comments
1136 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 243 Comments
1057 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
991 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 61 Comments
922 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 33 Comments
859 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 123 Comments
800 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 473 Comments
792 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 64 Comments
773 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 279 Comments
769 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 4 Comments
613 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 4 Comments
605 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 78 Comments
534 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 23 Comments
400 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 182 Comments
322 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 411 Comments
292 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 686 Comments
227 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
220 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 15 Comments
201 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 48 Comments
161 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 60 Comments
150 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 487 Comments
146 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 258 Comments
109 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 16 Comments
84 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1135 Comments
58 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 86 Comments
54 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
50 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 20 Comments
46 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 31 Comments
20 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1083 Comments
20 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
16 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 259 Comments
15 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 149 Comments
5 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 9 Comments


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