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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


PoemComments
"In White": Frost's Early Version Of Design Comments and analysis of 59 Comments
35. A Boundless Moment
32. A Brook in the City Comments and analysis of A Brook in the City by Robert Frost 5 Comments
A Cliff Dwelling Comments and analysis of A Cliff Dwelling by Robert Frost 281 Comments
15. A Dream Pang Comments and analysis of A Dream Pang by Robert Frost 268 Comments
14. 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 247 Comments
21. A Girl's Garden Comments and analysis of A Girl's Garden by Robert Frost 37 Comments
40. A Hillside Thaw Comments and analysis of A Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost 461 Comments
16. A Hundred Collars Comments and analysis of A Hundred Collars by Robert Frost 14 Comments
5. A Late Walk Comments and analysis of A Late Walk by Robert Frost 289 Comments
27. A Line-Storm Song Comments and analysis of A Line-Storm Song by Robert Frost 5 Comments
14. A Minor Bird Comments and analysis of A Minor Bird by Robert Frost 338 Comments
10. A Passing Glimpse Comments and analysis of A Passing Glimpse by Robert Frost 39 Comments
5. A Patch of Old Snow Comments and analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost 12 Comments
11. A Peck of Gold Comments and analysis of A Peck of Gold by Robert Frost 101 Comments
10. A Prayer in Spring Comments and analysis of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost 125 Comments
A Question Comments and analysis of A Question by Robert Frost 274 Comments
10. A Servant to Servants Comments and analysis of A Servant to Servants by Robert Frost 24 Comments
24. A Soldier Comments and analysis of A Soldier by Robert Frost 256 Comments
2. A Star in a Stoneboat Comments and analysis of A Star in a Stoneboat by Robert Frost 78 Comments
15. A Time to Talk Comments and analysis of A Time to Talk by Robert Frost 81 Comments
18. A Winter Eden Comments and analysis of A Winter Eden by Robert Frost 256 Comments
8. Acceptance Comments and analysis of Acceptance by Robert Frost 8 Comments
21. Acquainted With the Night Comments and analysis of Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost 399 Comments
4. After Apple-Picking Comments and analysis of After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost 354 Comments
13. An Empty Threat Comments and analysis of An Empty Threat by Robert Frost 215 Comments
17. An Encounter Comments and analysis of An Encounter by Robert Frost 262 Comments
3. An Old Man's Winter Night Comments and analysis of An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost 28 Comments
Asking For Roses Comments and analysis of Asking For Roses by Robert Frost 1015 Comments
5. Atmosphere Comments and analysis of Atmosphere by Robert Frost 3 Comments
15. Bereft Comments and analysis of Bereft by Robert Frost 28 Comments
12. Birches Comments and analysis of Birches by Robert Frost 141 Comments
26. Blue-Butterfly Day Comments and analysis of Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost 492 Comments
17. Blueberries Comments and analysis of Blueberries by Robert Frost 3 Comments
11. Bond and Free Comments and analysis of Bond and Free by Robert Frost 66 Comments
25. Brown’s Descent Comments and analysis of Brown’s Descent by Robert Frost 2 Comments
But Outer Space Comments and analysis of But Outer Space by Robert Frost 265 Comments
23. Canis Major Comments and analysis of Canis Major by Robert Frost 7 Comments
2. Christmas Trees Comments and analysis of Christmas Trees by Robert Frost 642 Comments
Come In Comments and analysis of Come In by Robert Frost 226 Comments
Desert Places Comments and analysis of Desert Places by Robert Frost 172 Comments
Design Comments and analysis of Design by Robert Frost 565 Comments
6. Devotion Comments and analysis of Devotion by Robert Frost 13 Comments
33. Dust in the Eyes Comments and analysis of Dust in the Eyes by Robert Frost 4 Comments
19. Dust of Snow Comments and analysis of Dust of Snow by Robert Frost 673 Comments
36. Evening in a Sugar Orchard Comments and analysis of Evening in a Sugar Orchard by Robert Frost 2 Comments
17. Fire and Ice Comments and analysis of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost 474 Comments
4. Fireflies in the Garden Comments and analysis of Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost 37 Comments
11. Flower-Gathering Comments and analysis of Flower-Gathering by Robert Frost 88 Comments
25. For Once, Then, Something Comments and analysis of For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost 297 Comments
16. Fragmentary Blue Comments and analysis of Fragmentary Blue by Robert Frost 253 Comments
37. Gathering Leaves Comments and analysis of Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost 93 Comments
2. Ghost House Comments and analysis of Ghost House by Robert Frost 161 Comments
19. Going for Water Comments and analysis of Going for Water by Robert Frost 25 Comments
6. Good Hours Comments and analysis of Good Hours by Robert Frost 14 Comments
29. Good-by and Keep Cold Comments and analysis of Good-by and Keep Cold by Robert Frost 27 Comments
26. Hannibal Comments and analysis of Hannibal by Robert Frost 7 Comments
3. Home Burial Comments and analysis of Home Burial by Robert Frost 468 Comments
9. Hyla Brook Comments and analysis of Hyla Brook by Robert Frost 21 Comments
15. I Will Sing You One-O Comments and analysis of I Will Sing You One-O by Robert Frost 79 Comments
11. I. The Witch of Coös Comments and analysis of I.  The Witch of Coös by Robert Frost 51 Comments
12. II. The Pauper Witch of Grafton Comments and analysis of II.  The Pauper Witch of Grafton by Robert Frost 58 Comments
25. Immigrants Comments and analysis of Immigrants by Robert Frost 24 Comments
18. In a Disused Graveyard Comments and analysis of In a Disused Graveyard by Robert Frost 39 Comments
14. In a Vale Comments and analysis of In a Vale by Robert Frost 10 Comments
26. In Hardwood Groves Comments and analysis of In Hardwood Groves by Robert Frost 21 Comments
16. In Neglect Comments and analysis of In Neglect by Robert Frost 56 Comments
6. In the Home Stretch Comments and analysis of In the Home Stretch by Robert Frost 259 Comments
1. Into My Own Comments and analysis of Into My Own by Robert Frost 62 Comments
Leaves Compared With Flowers Comments and analysis of Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost 21 Comments
22. Locked Out Comments and analysis of Locked Out by Robert Frost 36 Comments
13. Lodged Comments and analysis of Lodged by Robert Frost 279 Comments
34. Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter Comments and analysis of Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost 18 Comments
4. Love and a Question Comments and analysis of Love and a Question by Robert Frost 145 Comments
5. Maple Comments and analysis of Maple by Robert Frost 11 Comments
8. Meeting and Passing Comments and analysis of Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost 276 Comments
1. Mending Wall Comments and analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost 245 Comments
39. Misgiving Comments and analysis of Misgiving by Robert Frost 10 Comments
18. Mowing Comments and analysis of Mowing by Robert Frost 59 Comments
29. My Butterfly Comments and analysis of My Butterfly by Robert Frost 7 Comments
3. My November Guest Comments and analysis of My November Guest by Robert Frost 119 Comments
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Comments and analysis of Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by Robert Frost 251 Comments
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 555 Comments
1. New Hampshire Comments and analysis of New Hampshire by Robert Frost 47 Comments
31. Not To Keep Comments and analysis of Not To Keep by Robert Frost 1 Comment
21. Nothing Gold Can Stay Comments and analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost 709 Comments
25. Now Close the Windows Comments and analysis of Now Close the Windows by Robert Frost 267 Comments
28. October Comments and analysis of October by Robert Frost 94 Comments
42. On a Tree Fallen Across the Road Comments and analysis of On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost 114 Comments
7. On Going Unnoticed Comments and analysis of On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost 1 Comment
38. 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
12. Once By The Pacific Comments and analysis of Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost 316 Comments
One Step Backward Taken Comments and analysis of One Step Backward Taken by Robert Frost 226 Comments
43. Our Singing Strength Comments and analysis of Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost 22 Comments
23. Pan with Us Comments and analysis of Pan with Us by Robert Frost 7 Comments
8. Paul's Wife Comments and analysis of Paul's Wife by Robert Frost 4 Comments
13. Pea Brush Comments and analysis of Pea Brush by Robert Frost 68 Comments
10. Place for a Third Comments and analysis of Place for a Third by Robert Frost 1 Comment
41. Plowmen Comments and analysis of Plowmen by Robert Frost 4 Comments
Provide, Provide Comments and analysis of Provide, Provide by Robert Frost 85 Comments
14. Putting in the Seed Comments and analysis of Putting in the Seed by Robert Frost 325 Comments
18. Range-Finding Comments and analysis of Range-Finding by Robert Frost 75 Comments
30. Reluctance Comments and analysis of Reluctance by Robert Frost 11 Comments
20. Revelation Comments and analysis of Revelation by Robert Frost 272 Comments
37. Riders Comments and analysis of Riders by Robert Frost 57 Comments
12. Rose Pogonias Comments and analysis of Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost 12 Comments
22. Sand Dunes Comments and analysis of Sand Dunes by Robert Frost 8 Comments
34. Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight Comments and analysis of Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight by Robert Frost 273 Comments
29. Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by Robert Frost 3 Comments
1. Spring Pools Comments and analysis of Spring Pools by Robert Frost 280 Comments
6. Stars Comments and analysis of Stars by Robert Frost 53 Comments
24. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Comments and analysis of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 1060 Comments
24. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
7. Storm Fear Comments and analysis of Storm Fear by Robert Frost 94 Comments
23. The Aim was Song Comments and analysis of The Aim was Song by Robert Frost 13 Comments
35. The Armful Comments and analysis of The Armful by Robert Frost 10 Comments
6. The Ax-Helve Comments and analysis of The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost 102 Comments
39. The Bear Comments and analysis of The Bear by Robert Frost 443 Comments
31. The Birthplace Comments and analysis of The Birthplace by Robert Frost 6 Comments
15. The Black Cottage Comments and analysis of The Black Cottage by Robert Frost 231 Comments
20. The Bonfire Comments and analysis of The Bonfire by Robert Frost 56 Comments
3. The Census-Taker Comments and analysis of The Census-Taker by Robert Frost 7 Comments
9. The Cocoon Comments and analysis of The Cocoon by Robert Frost 4 Comments
7. The Code Comments and analysis of The Code by Robert Frost 258 Comments
16. The Cow In Apple-Time Comments and analysis of The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost 287 Comments
2. The Death of the Hired Man Comments and analysis of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost 543 Comments
24. The Demiurge's Laugh Comments and analysis of The Demiurge's Laugh by Robert Frost 28 Comments
32. The Door in the Dark Comments and analysis of The Door in the Dark by Robert Frost 272 Comments
40. The Egg and the Machine Comments and analysis of The Egg and the Machine by Robert Frost 79 Comments
4. The Exposed Nest Comments and analysis of The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost 453 Comments
9. The Fear Comments and analysis of The Fear by Robert Frost 67 Comments
20. The Flood Comments and analysis of The Flood by Robert Frost 6 Comments
27. The Flower Boat Comments and analysis of The Flower Boat by Robert Frost 3 Comments
2. The Freedom of the Moon Comments and analysis of The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost 59 Comments
14. The Generations of Men Comments and analysis of The Generations of Men by Robert Frost 49 Comments
7. The Grindstone Comments and analysis of The Grindstone by Robert Frost 245 Comments
26. The Gum-Gatherer Comments and analysis of The Gum-Gatherer by Robert Frost 8 Comments
19. The Hill Wife Comments and analysis of The Hill Wife by Robert Frost 26 Comments
13. The Housekeeper Comments and analysis of The Housekeeper by Robert Frost 237 Comments
29. The Investment Comments and analysis of The Investment by Robert Frost 246 Comments
33. The Kitchen Chimney Comments and analysis of The Kitchen Chimney by Robert Frost 6 Comments
30. The Last Mowing Comments and analysis of The Last Mowing by Robert Frost 3 Comments
23. The Last Word of a Blue Bird Comments and analysis of The Last Word of a Blue Bird by Robert Frost 306 Comments
27. The Line-Gang Comments and analysis of The Line-Gang by Robert Frost 30 Comments
44. The Lockless Door Comments and analysis of The Lockless Door by Robert Frost 857 Comments
12. The Mountain Comments and analysis of The Mountain by Robert Frost 3 Comments
45. 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
27. The Onset Comments and analysis of The Onset by Robert Frost 17 Comments
10. The Oven Bird Comments and analysis of The Oven Bird by Robert Frost 67 Comments
8. The Pasture Comments and analysis of The Pasture by Robert Frost 135 Comments
17. The Peaceful Shepherd Comments and analysis of The Peaceful Shepherd by Robert Frost 4 Comments
1. The Road Not Taken Comments and analysis of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 1116 Comments
3. The Rose Family Comments and analysis of The Rose Family by Robert Frost 117 Comments
22. The Runaway Comments and analysis of The Runaway by Robert Frost 333 Comments
11. The Self-Seeker Comments and analysis of The Self-Seeker by Robert Frost 70 Comments
The Silken Tent Comments and analysis of The Silken Tent by Robert Frost 323 Comments
The Soldier Comments and analysis of The Soldier by Robert Frost 487 Comments
30. The Sound of the Trees Comments and analysis of The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost 272 Comments
The Span Of Life Comments and analysis of The Span Of Life by Robert Frost 17 Comments
4. The Star-Splitter Comments and analysis of The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost 15 Comments
7. The Telephone Comments and analysis of The Telephone by Robert Frost 277 Comments
19. The Thatch Comments and analysis of The Thatch by Robert Frost 75 Comments
28. The Times Table Comments and analysis of The Times Table by Robert Frost 65 Comments
21. The Trial by Existence Comments and analysis of The Trial by Existence by Robert Frost 24 Comments
22. The Tuft of Flowers Comments and analysis of The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost 266 Comments
38. The Valley's Singing Day Comments and analysis of The Valley's Singing Day by Robert Frost 13 Comments
28. The Vanishing Red Comments and analysis of The Vanishing Red by Robert Frost 75 Comments
17. The Vantage Point Comments and analysis of The Vantage Point by Robert Frost 264 Comments
5. The Wood-Pile Comments and analysis of The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost 103 Comments
They Were Welcome To Their Belief Comments and analysis of They Were Welcome To Their Belief by Robert Frost 7 Comments
20. To E.T. Comments and analysis of To E.T. by Robert Frost 4 Comments
28. To Earthward Comments and analysis of To Earthward by Robert Frost 60 Comments
9. To the Thawing Wind Comments and analysis of To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost 89 Comments
16. Tree At My Window Comments and analysis of Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 302 Comments
30. Two Look at Two Comments and analysis of Two Look at Two by Robert Frost 314 Comments
Two Tramps In Mud Time Comments and analysis of Two Tramps In Mud Time by Robert Frost 54 Comments
13. Waiting Comments and analysis of Waiting by Robert Frost 11 Comments
36. What Fifty Said Comments and analysis of What Fifty Said by Robert Frost 58 Comments
9. Wild Grapes Comments and analysis of Wild Grapes by Robert Frost 260 Comments
8. Wind and Window Flower Comments and analysis of Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost 53 Comments
24. 'Out, Out--' Comments and analysis of 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost 583 Comments


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