Analysis of Poet Robert Frost’s Life and Writings

Introduction

Different people have distinctive life histories according to the works they get involved with and the achievements they are able to have during their lifetime. Robert Frost was an American poet who was born in the year 1874 and died in 1963 at the age of 89. Among the things he got involved with, he is well known for his poetic and writing works.

What was so unique about Robert Frost is that he was so realistic in depicting the aspects associated with rural life. His command of American idiomatic speech is also a concept he is remembered for to present time (Schmidt and Sorensen 2). This piece of work gives an in depth analysis of Poet Robert Frost’s life with much emphasis being given to his works especially the writings and poetry.

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Poet Robert Frost’s life and writings

Frost was born in California, San Francisco and spent most of his early years there. It is deemed that his writing and poetic nature could have been drawn from his father, William Prescott Frost Jr. who had a passion in journalism and also worked as an editor. Most of the works of Robert Frost revolved around the lifestyle of people in the rural areas of New England especially in the beginning of the 20th century.

Frost used the lifestyle and settings of the rural people in a creative manner and related them to the philosophical, cultural and social issues that existed at that time so as to bring in the relevance and hence inform a majority of the people. The irony that is seen is the fact that although he is known for his association and affiliation with the rural lifestyle and setting, he grew up in the city (Bloom and Zuba 106).

Before frost specialized in poetry, he was engaged in a variety of jobs including teaching but he felt that those were not in line with his talents and calling, which is poetry. He therefore sought to specialize in poetry so that he would not only earn from it but also enjoy his work and hence attain job satisfaction, an aspect that is very essential for every individual. He was however engaged in other works due to circumstances and he therefore never dealt with poetry and writing solely.

The first notable publication of frost was a poem that was featured in his high school’s magazine. The first poem to sell was however the one entitled “My Butterfly: An Elegy”. This poem was published in the New York edition Independent in 1894, November 8.

To Frost, this was a very great achievement such that he took the chance to propose marriage to his then girlfriend, Elinor Miriam White who did not agree stating that she wanted to first complete her college education. Frost then left the country to Virginia and on his return, he asked Elinor to marry him since she had already graduated and fortunately, she agreed (Anonymous par 4).

Writing was so much into Frost’s life that even when he left to take care of the farm that his grandfather bought him and his wife, he did not do away with it but ensured that he fixed it in his tight schedule. He used to write very early in the morning and compose poems.

The writings and poems that seemed just ordinary at that time later made Frost very famous. It was after the farm work he engaged in became unsuccessful that Robert decided to go back to the teaching field where he taught English subject in various schools for instance the New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy and New Hampshire Normal School.

Being an English teacher fostered his career as a poet as compared to farming which was completely parallel to his line of work. In his teaching career in different schools, Robert was so much concerned with poetry and all the aspects that surround it. He encouraged his students to be keen and take note of all sounds related to human voice and consider them in their writing.

Robert later left for Great Britain where he published his first poetry book in the year 1923. The book was entitled, A Boy’s Will. It was in England that frost was able to meet with many renowned people with whom they would help each other grow for instance Edward Thomas who is recognized in the poetry field among others.

In England, Frost was able to come up with most of his best works. The North of Boston is also another collection that reinforced Frost’s stand and reputation. It was after the First World War begun that Frost decided to go back to America to reinforce his career in writing.

In the year 1915, Frost set up a career in teaching, lecturing as well as writing in a farm he bought and dedicated specifically for that work. The farm is now preserved as “The Frost Place” and serves to show most of his work. It serves as a poetry conference site as well as a museum where a lot of his original writings and poems can be traced even today. This has so much contributed to his fame.

Robert spent a significant part of his life teaching especially at the Bread Loaf School of English. In the school, Frost did major developments in regard to writing and poetry and he is up to date remembered for his work. He achieved this through establishing strategic writing programs aimed at enhancing poetry in as many people as possible.

During the 1920s, Frost was the most recognized and celebrated poet in America and his popularity grew day by day with the release of new and better collections. Some of his renowned collections include the New Hampshire published in 1923, A further Range published in 1936, Steeple Bush released in 1947 and In the Clearing which was produced in 1962 among others (Schmidt and Sorensen 4).

The works of Robert Frost made him very popular and was able to receive various awards and prizes for instance four Pulitzer prizes in relation to his poetry, an aspect that not many individuals have been able to achieve.

Today, Frost’s poems are usually assessed critically at the oxford university press in the Anthology of modern poetry. The evaluation shows that even though Frost was popular his poems have not been fully recognized and analyzed as it is expected or as compared to his fame and what he was able to do in the field of English writing and poetry.

Among the existing collections of frost at the Special Collections department of the Jones Library located in Massachusetts include photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, letters and poems, manuscripts as well as visual recordings all amounting to approximately 12,000 items excluding his papers that are located in the Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College.

Some of the poems written by frost include, “In White”: Frost’s Early Version of Design, A Boundless Moment, A Late Walk, After Apple Picking, a minor bird, a soldier, asking for rose and a patch of old snow among others (Anonymous par 7).

Although the professional life of Frost is surrounded by achievements and recognition, his personal life is not that interesting. It is a life that is characterized by grief and losses for instance his father died while he was still young and their family was not financially stable. His mother also died five years later and he was supposed to take care of the home and young sister who later died of a mental illness.

His family was not lucky either and different diseases run among them (wife and six children) and they did not live long and they suffered a lot for the time they were alive. All in all, he is deemed to be an inspiration to many including the readers of his collections.

Others who have include young as well as established musicians, writers/authors, poets and playwrights among others. Although his family life was not that good and was associated with a lot of pains and losses even of close family members, Frost was able to accomplish much in the field of writing and poetry and more so, he set programs that ensured that the field of poetry did not die off but rather grow in the people he left behind (Bloom and Zuba 105).

When criticizing the life and works of Frost Robert, we can say that although he was full of potential and talent, he was not able to present it fully as expected. He for instance, did not appear public on many occasions in his lifetime and this made him to be termed as an unofficial poet.

His poems are also deemed to lack universal meaning since they concentrated too much on the rural life. His works also lacked seriousness in regard to the social and political problems faced by the society in his time as it was full of humor for instance when he stated that he was never serious except when he was fooling.

This has left him to be looked at by many as a regional poet who did not fully exploit his potential. Just as any aspect is linked with some benefits and drawbacks, the life and writing of Frost is also associated with some strengths and weakness but all in all, his works are still an inspiration to many and hence we can not deny the fact that he contributed significantly to the field of poetry by acting as an inspiration to many (Anonymous par 6).

Conclusion

It is evident that the works of Robert Frost are unique and has hence drawn attention of a significant number of people due to their content.

To many he is a source of inspiration. Although the writings and poems have not been without critics, it is clear that they have attracted a significant readership and most of them adore his works as they draw comfort in the meaning they deduce from the work especially poetry. This is because Frost was able to incorporate almost every aspect that happens in our day to day lives more especially in the rural setting.

Works Cited

Anonymous. “Robert Frost”. Poets.org. 1997. 26 July 2011.

Bloom Harold and Zuba Jesse. Robert Frost. USA: InfoBase Publishing, 2003. Print

Schmidt D. Gary and Sorensen Henri. Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2008. Print

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