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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
78249 Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 81 Comments
56262 Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1080 Comments
55103 The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 583 Comments
51683 Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 113 Comments
50567 The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 45 Comments
39765 An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 41 Comments
35792 Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 107 Comments
34489 Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 672 Comments
34148 The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 898 Comments
33714 The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 297 Comments
31732 Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 334 Comments
31453 Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 294 Comments
31367 Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 330 Comments
29407 Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 339 Comments
28949 Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 112 Comments
27669 Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 352 Comments
26167 A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 286 Comments
24003 In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 63 Comments
23704 Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 48 Comments
23626 The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 290 Comments
23358 Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 121 Comments
22136 Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 308 Comments
21195 Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 20 Comments
21163 Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 519 Comments
21038 The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 120 Comments
20649 The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 81 Comments
19958 Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 299 Comments
19482 Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 292 Comments
19235 Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 79 Comments
19141 The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 284 Comments
19001 To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 111 Comments
18575 The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 467 Comments
18272 Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 359 Comments
18170 Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 43 Comments
18104 Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 29 Comments
17985 An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 286 Comments
17932 The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 14 Comments
17116 Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
17068 The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 103 Comments
16599 The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 41 Comments
16335 Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
16131 A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 106 Comments
15821 A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 30 Comments
15049 Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 49 Comments
14773 On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
14443 The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 48 Comments
14442 A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 314 Comments
14284 A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 10 Comments
14149 The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 17 Comments
13289 They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 11 Comments
13046 The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 122 Comments
12493 I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 102 Comments
12167 The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 5 Comments
11472 Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 301 Comments
11185 The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 68 Comments
10931 The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 264 Comments
10876 The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 29 Comments
10531 Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 3 Comments
10043 The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 279 Comments
9445 The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 102 Comments
9378 Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 14 Comments
8778 The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 23 Comments
8614 Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 614 Comments
8440 The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 36 Comments
8247 Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
7524 In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 288 Comments
6541 New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 51 Comments
6399 The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 347 Comments
5930 In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 24 Comments
5841 Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 320 Comments
5659 The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 352 Comments
5593 What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 77 Comments
5522 Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 37 Comments
5475 Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 74 Comments
5407 A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 313 Comments
5191 Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 24 Comments
5094 The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 509 Comments
5077 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 598 Comments
5070 A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 311 Comments
4846 Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 274 Comments
4791 An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 225 Comments
4671 A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 308 Comments
4639 One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 244 Comments
4426 Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 183 Comments
4360 The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1187 Comments
4145 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 656 Comments
4142 Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 82 Comments
4039 On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 133 Comments
4037 But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 295 Comments
3996 Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 13 Comments
3847 A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 118 Comments
3625 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
3609 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1121 Comments
3609 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
3585 A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 55 Comments
3499 The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 297 Comments
3217 Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 14 Comments
3159 Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 73 Comments
3040 After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 401 Comments
2921 Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 257 Comments
2912 The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 298 Comments
2909 The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 301 Comments
2835 Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 28 Comments
2787 Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 725 Comments
2762 The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 250 Comments
2695 My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 145 Comments
2605 Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 13 Comments
2605 Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 72 Comments
2602 Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 44 Comments
2554 Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 23 Comments
2552 To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 71 Comments
2523 A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 497 Comments
2498 A Boundless Moment
2472 The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 82 Comments
2456 The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 86 Comments
2434 The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 302 Comments
2394 Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 22 Comments
2353 I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 61 Comments
2314 In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 75 Comments
2270 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 259 Comments
2233 Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 760 Comments
2231 Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 6 Comments
2198 Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 79 Comments
2139 The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 98 Comments
2130 To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 16 Comments
1847 II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 89 Comments
1760 The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 24 Comments
1708 October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 114 Comments
1684 The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 31 Comments
1578 Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 162 Comments
1540 Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 32 Comments
1538 A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 71 Comments
1509 The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Comments and analysis of The Need of Being Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost 45 Comments
1473 The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 152 Comments
1342 A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 273 Comments
1297 Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 275 Comments
1212 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
1169 A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 96 Comments
1120 The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 86 Comments
1088 The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 483 Comments
1073 Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 49 Comments
1070 Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 29 Comments
1060 A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 33 Comments
1036 A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 152 Comments
883 The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 40 Comments
836 For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 312 Comments
802 The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 26 Comments
766 The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 91 Comments
757 A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 20 Comments
674 Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
586 A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 369 Comments
580 Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 17 Comments
494 The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 81 Comments
475 The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 342 Comments
469 Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 5 Comments
403 Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 301 Comments
396 Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 197 Comments
290 Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 222 Comments
274 The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 22 Comments
245 Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 92 Comments
185 Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 446 Comments
184 "In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 72 Comments
120 Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 491 Comments
112 My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 24 Comments
105 The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
97 The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 162 Comments
89 Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 4 Comments
85 The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 23 Comments
84 Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 87 Comments
79 The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 52 Comments
74 Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 522 Comments
70 Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 54 Comments
61 The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 7 Comments
60 The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 278 Comments
51 In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 27 Comments
46 The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 27 Comments
36 A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 65 Comments
33 The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 14 Comments
32 Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 4 Comments
30 Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 9 Comments
22 Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 45 Comments


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