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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
57145 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1081 Comments
55807 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 583 Comments
52545 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 117 Comments
34893 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 673 Comments
34524 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 900 Comments
34054 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 301 Comments
32463 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 334 Comments
31694 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 333 Comments
29854 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 344 Comments
28199 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 357 Comments
26570 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 289 Comments
24353 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 64 Comments
24121 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 48 Comments
24068 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 294 Comments
23811 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 122 Comments
22439 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 308 Comments
21615 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 21 Comments
21478 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 520 Comments
21404 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 121 Comments
20973 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 82 Comments
19822 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 293 Comments
19447 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 285 Comments
18979 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 471 Comments
18546 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 45 Comments
18516 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 360 Comments
18500 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 31 Comments
18341 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 288 Comments
18218 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
17485 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 103 Comments
17423 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
16862 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 41 Comments
16757 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 4 Comments
16570 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 108 Comments
15033 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
14797 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 314 Comments
14690 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 49 Comments
14637 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 11 Comments
13742 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 11 Comments
13636 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 123 Comments
12809 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 106 Comments
12463 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
11817 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 302 Comments
11530 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 68 Comments
11223 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 267 Comments
11146 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 33 Comments
10784 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
10306 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 282 Comments
9766 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 104 Comments
9670 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 14 Comments
9484 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 615 Comments
8991 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 23 Comments
8653 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 38 Comments
8508 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
7152 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 51 Comments
6938 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 347 Comments
6563 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 24 Comments
6402 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 322 Comments
6301 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 354 Comments
6140 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 28 Comments
6104 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 79 Comments
6045 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 318 Comments
5878 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 313 Comments
5623 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
5596 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 509 Comments
5453 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 275 Comments
5169 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 185 Comments
5119 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 246 Comments
5072 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 309 Comments
4923 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 230 Comments
4560 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 659 Comments
4478 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 82 Comments
4436 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 122 Comments
4425 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 133 Comments
4393 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 13 Comments
3960 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
3816 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 299 Comments
3690 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 14 Comments
3659 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 405 Comments
3572 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 28 Comments
3525 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 257 Comments
3506 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 729 Comments
3383 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 306 Comments
3126 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 252 Comments
3100 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 499 Comments
3068 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 73 Comments
3003 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 47 Comments
2938 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 71 Comments
2930 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 19 Comments
2878 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 23 Comments
2781 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 302 Comments
2757 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 87 Comments
2756 A Boundless Moment
2704 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 61 Comments
2692 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 304 Comments
2664 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 7 Comments
2604 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
2530 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 16 Comments
2420 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 101 Comments
2356 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 92 Comments
2149 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 115 Comments
2132 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
2123 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 28 Comments
2002 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 37 Comments
1937 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 162 Comments
1929 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 153 Comments
1886 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 274 Comments
1863 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 75 Comments
1834 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 32 Comments
1772 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 275 Comments
1545 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 96 Comments
1538 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 88 Comments
1437 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 49 Comments
1388 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 34 Comments
1357 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 486 Comments
1295 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 29 Comments
1268 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 18 Comments
1190 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 314 Comments
1181 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 369 Comments
1124 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 30 Comments
1108 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 93 Comments
1072 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 344 Comments
1038 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 20 Comments
998 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
981 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
847 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 24 Comments
810 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 204 Comments
738 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 81 Comments
708 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
688 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 80 Comments
645 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 25 Comments
644 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 447 Comments
638 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 54 Comments
637 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 41 Comments
606 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 152 Comments
591 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 93 Comments
591 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 88 Comments
519 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 66 Comments
463 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 4 Comments
457 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 27 Comments
442 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 54 Comments
432 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 282 Comments
432 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 491 Comments
425 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 4 Comments
399 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 46 Comments
394 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 28 Comments
392 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 60 Comments
390 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 113 Comments
387 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 7 Comments
386 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 45 Comments
383 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 26 Comments
382 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 524 Comments
373 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 301 Comments
373 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 165 Comments
363 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 15 Comments
328 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
319 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 296 Comments
302 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 32 Comments
276 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
263 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 114 Comments
259 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
259 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 77 Comments
235 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 760 Comments
232 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 296 Comments
228 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 20 Comments
203 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 72 Comments
173 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 50 Comments
159 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 113 Comments
151 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 38 Comments
105 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 226 Comments
103 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 145 Comments
101 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 304 Comments
97 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 79 Comments
90 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 40 Comments
82 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 80 Comments
76 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 296 Comments
56 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 73 Comments
50 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1192 Comments
31 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 81 Comments
7 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 87 Comments
1 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1140 Comments
1 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


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