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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
94957 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 188 Comments
78176 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 22 Comments
76730 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 76 Comments
54141 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1068 Comments
54010 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 580 Comments
50536 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 110 Comments
49084 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 38 Comments
43920 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 50 Comments
38941 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 40 Comments
35101 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 103 Comments
33556 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 666 Comments
33272 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 892 Comments
33193 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 297 Comments
33062 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 40 Comments
30994 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 291 Comments
30929 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 328 Comments
30807 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 330 Comments
28544 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 334 Comments
28530 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 4 Comments
28388 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 107 Comments
26626 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 346 Comments
26449 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 49 Comments
25566 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 285 Comments
23363 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 59 Comments
23231 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 42 Comments
23105 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 286 Comments
22647 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 112 Comments
21627 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 307 Comments
20893 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 20 Comments
20616 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 118 Comments
20608 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 518 Comments
20174 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 78 Comments
19275 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 12 Comments
18935 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 288 Comments
18911 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 293 Comments
18835 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 75 Comments
18735 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 283 Comments
18574 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 105 Comments
18347 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 6 Comments
17792 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 461 Comments
17758 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 39 Comments
17724 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 350 Comments
17623 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 26 Comments
17497 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
17476 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 284 Comments
16711 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
16525 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 101 Comments
16208 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 38 Comments
15958 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
15861 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 25 Comments
15757 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
15406 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 102 Comments
15032 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 23 Comments
14594 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 46 Comments
14516 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
14098 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 44 Comments
13968 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 9 Comments
13766 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 310 Comments
13343 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 12 Comments
12919 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 10 Comments
12878 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 84 Comments
12496 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 122 Comments
12045 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 97 Comments
11879 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
11215 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 87 Comments
10901 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 294 Comments
10886 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 65 Comments
10492 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 25 Comments
10437 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 263 Comments
10164 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
9746 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 276 Comments
9040 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 14 Comments
8932 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 94 Comments
8499 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 21 Comments
8151 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 33 Comments
7993 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
7306 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 608 Comments
7053 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 222 Comments
6940 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 282 Comments
5793 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 51 Comments
5545 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 346 Comments
5291 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 22 Comments
4876 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 349 Comments
4826 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 70 Comments
4747 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 63 Comments
4730 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 316 Comments
4588 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 75 Comments
4430 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 34 Comments
4216 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 507 Comments
4178 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 14 Comments
4163 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 592 Comments
4157 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 22 Comments
4115 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 273 Comments
4090 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 307 Comments
4070 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 301 Comments
3994 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 304 Comments
3950 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 242 Comments
3859 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 337 Comments
3779 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 491 Comments
3746 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 178 Comments
3570 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 12 Comments
3550 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 72 Comments
3506 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 131 Comments
3317 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 646 Comments
3300 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 290 Comments
3276 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 113 Comments
2991 On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations Comments and analysis of On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations by Robert Frost 45 Comments
2984 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 294 Comments
2783 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 48 Comments
2700 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 14 Comments
2591 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1171 Comments
2543 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 398 Comments
2474 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 69 Comments
2346 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 291 Comments
2265 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 255 Comments
2258 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 248 Comments
2257 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 70 Comments
2218 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 69 Comments
2207 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 13 Comments
2202 A Boundless Moment
2184 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 154 Comments
2152 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1113 Comments
2152 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
2093 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 20 Comments
2078 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
2051 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 140 Comments
2016 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 41 Comments
1984 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 86 Comments
1975 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 295 Comments
1958 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 59 Comments
1944 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 258 Comments
1903 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 71 Comments
1895 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 297 Comments
1861 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 79 Comments
1858 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 27 Comments
1836 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 715 Comments
1823 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 73 Comments
1775 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 93 Comments
1753 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 2 Comments
1722 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 4 Comments
1715 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 495 Comments
1580 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 15 Comments
1511 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 210 Comments
1481 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
1297 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 19 Comments
1250 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 511 Comments
1189 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 438 Comments
1154 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 290 Comments
1152 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 27 Comments
1144 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 30 Comments
1107 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 160 Comments
1105 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 72 Comments
1088 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 369 Comments
1058 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 65 Comments
1038 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 111 Comments
1035 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 757 Comments
1018 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 83 Comments
986 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 275 Comments
959 The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Comments and analysis of The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost 44 Comments
782 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 28 Comments
710 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 46 Comments
694 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 28 Comments
679 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 23 Comments
676 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 273 Comments
660 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
591 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 142 Comments
548 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 149 Comments
546 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 25 Comments
545 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 270 Comments
530 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 83 Comments
526 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 479 Comments
518 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 94 Comments
490 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 19 Comments
377 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 309 Comments
373 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 40 Comments
350 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 20 Comments
340 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 87 Comments
314 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 19 Comments
296 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
216 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
199 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 79 Comments


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