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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
89449 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 164 Comments
72753 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 8 Comments
71700 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 62 Comments
68270 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 402 Comments
60799 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 175 Comments
50996 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 546 Comments
49696 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1018 Comments
47295 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 95 Comments
46706 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 97 Comments
46015 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 19 Comments
40686 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 32 Comments
37702 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 30 Comments
34711 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 119 Comments
33214 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 94 Comments
31639 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 862 Comments
31397 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 644 Comments
31324 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 25 Comments
31168 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 278 Comments
29455 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 274 Comments
29087 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 305 Comments
28790 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 319 Comments
26733 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 88 Comments
26712 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 3 Comments
26585 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 284 Comments
26317 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 81 Comments
25326 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 15 Comments
25241 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 37 Comments
23994 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 317 Comments
23988 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 270 Comments
21883 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 40 Comments
21671 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 268 Comments
21591 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 23 Comments
21389 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 67 Comments
21049 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 299 Comments
21043 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 89 Comments
20886 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
20319 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 277 Comments
19784 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 14 Comments
19497 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 105 Comments
18788 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 496 Comments
18758 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 57 Comments
18382 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
18083 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 6 Comments
17831 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 68 Comments
17468 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 261 Comments
17448 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 264 Comments
17091 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 90 Comments
16996 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 269 Comments
16611 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 328 Comments
16583 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 25 Comments
16489 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 444 Comments
16359 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 6 Comments
16200 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 7 Comments
16100 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 264 Comments
15482 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
15323 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
15116 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 80 Comments
14856 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 26 Comments
14804 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
14749 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 10 Comments
14597 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
13866 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 12 Comments
13821 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 6 Comments
13778 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 78 Comments
13518 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
13315 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 37 Comments
13206 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 30 Comments
12978 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 5 Comments
12963 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 5 Comments
12282 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 285 Comments
12197 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 29 Comments
11688 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 4 Comments
11678 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 77 Comments
11660 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 16 Comments
11529 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 9 Comments
11083 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 142 Comments
10994 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 80 Comments
10972 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 102 Comments
10939 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
10668 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 455 Comments
9995 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 71 Comments
9965 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 49 Comments
9659 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 274 Comments
9604 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 6 Comments
9587 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 59 Comments
9560 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 9 Comments
9404 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 237 Comments
8921 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
8669 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 248 Comments
8052 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 2 Comments
7864 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 76 Comments
7640 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 9 Comments
7240 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 14 Comments
7042 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
5678 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 215 Comments
5667 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 260 Comments
3763 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 568 Comments
3315 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
3042 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1064 Comments
3042 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
2879 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 22 Comments
2867 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 47 Comments
2820 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 57 Comments
2694 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 347 Comments
2600 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 679 Comments
2449 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 327 Comments
2402 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 41 Comments
2362 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 335 Comments
2247 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 20 Comments
2236 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 488 Comments
2235 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 230 Comments
2221 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 283 Comments
2192 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 258 Comments
2113 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 58 Comments
2092 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 55 Comments
2075 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 468 Comments
1916 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 117 Comments
1849 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 148 Comments
1834 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 258 Comments
1819 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 558 Comments
1812 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 12 Comments
1778 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 714 Comments
1731 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 129 Comments
1688 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
1646 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 590 Comments
1535 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 37 Comments
1531 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 12 Comments
1527 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 13 Comments
1517 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 276 Comments
1505 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 277 Comments
1502 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 102 Comments
1448 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 69 Comments
1399 On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations Comments and analysis of On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations by Robert Frost 21 Comments
1388 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 267 Comments
1366 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 252 Comments
1333 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 25 Comments
1288 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 256 Comments
1268 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 26 Comments
1209 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 359 Comments
1135 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 135 Comments
1099 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 61 Comments
1072 A Boundless Moment
1060 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 63 Comments
1057 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 231 Comments
1042 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 248 Comments
1007 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 7 Comments
991 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 52 Comments
989 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 261 Comments
977 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 291 Comments
943 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 60 Comments
929 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 65 Comments
912 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
904 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 248 Comments
860 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 1 Comment
860 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 12 Comments
842 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 287 Comments
813 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 71 Comments
802 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 3 Comments
795 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 4 Comments
702 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 13 Comments
688 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 14 Comments
676 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
635 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 9 Comments
604 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 249 Comments
373 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 57 Comments
312 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 228 Comments
305 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 11 Comments
254 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 30 Comments
237 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 308 Comments
237 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 481 Comments
220 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1128 Comments
216 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 4 Comments
215 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 56 Comments
175 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 55 Comments
173 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 60 Comments
168 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 275 Comments
137 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 3 Comments
135 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 75 Comments
90 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 466 Comments
83 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 120 Comments
65 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 22 Comments


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