Each entry is written by an expert contributor and closes with a brief bibliography. The volume also provides a chronology and concludes with a general bibliography of major studies. People, places, ideas, and events, as well as individuals poems and collections, are treated in this encyclopedia, which is designed "to provide readers with a starting point.
Wonderfully handy, this reference book for Frost's work is like no other. The editors succeed admirably in creating a place to help readers begin to "make [themselves] at home among the poems," mindful of Frost's warning against "too much analysis. Entries on popular poems "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" can be three pages long; more obscure poems may get ten lines.
Far more selective entries cover people, places, events, ideas, and literary forms important to Frost. One might wish for more entries on members of Frost's family, but the editors decided to embed nearly all familial references in other entries. Examples of the thoughtful features that make this single volume useful include references to good sources with every entry; an ample, well-designed index; and cross-references from the poems to entries on topics Frost's ideas about science, nature, or poetic theories and forms or places lyric, prose, England, Harvard.
On the other hand, "Meeting and Passing" uses a few vivid images to infuse a courtship walk with the promise of joy. The hilarious slide in "Brown's Descent" and the youthful tree-swinging of "Birches" although its exuberance is restrained from hyperbole by "matter of fact" are countered by the deadly accident of "Out, Out—. In Frost became one of the first poets-in-residence on an American campus. He taught at Amherst from to , in receiving a master of arts, the first of many academic honors.
The following year he moved his farm base to South Saftsbury, Vt. In he cofounded the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College, serving there each summer as lecturer and consultant. From to he was poet-in-residence at the University of Michigan. Frost's Selected Poems and a new volume, New Hampshire , appeared in For the latter Frost received the first of four Pulitzer Prizes.
Frost returned to Amherst for 2 years in and to the University of Michigan in and then settled at Amherst in West Running Brook continued Frost's tonal variations and mingling of lyrics and narratives. The lyric "Tree at My Window" appeared along with "Acquainted with the Night," a narrative of a despairing nightwalker in a city where time is "neither right nor wrong.
Frost visited England and Paris in and published his Collected Poems in In he suffered another excruciating loss in the death of his daughter Marjorie. He returned to Harvard in and in the same year published A Further Range. This volume contains considerable social comment, but in the context of a worldwide depression some of it seemed oversimplified and untimely.
Frost's character Depression Tityrus declares, "I'd let things take their course And then I'd take the credit. Honors, forebodings, and tragedies continued to crowd in on Frost. Because of his weak lungs, his doctor ordered him south in , and thereafter he spent his winters in Florida. Frost served on the Harvard faculty during and received an honorary doctorate. After his wife died of a heart attack in , Frost resigned from the Amherst faculty and sold his house.
That same year he was elected to the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. In his second Collected Poems appeared, and he began a 3-year stay at Harvard.
In his only surviving son committed suicide. A Witness Tree included the lyric "Happiness Makes Up in Height for What It Lacks in Length" and "Come In," in which the speaker prefers the guiding light of stars to the romantic dark of the woods and the song of an unseen bird.
Steeple Bush contained the beautiful elegy of decay "Directive. In Frost essayed something new in A Masque of Reason, a verse drama, too chatty for the stage. A modernization of the biblical story of Job, it is theistic and sets forth good-humoredly the Puritanic conviction that man, with his finite mind, must remain separate from God.
A Masque of Mercy , a companion verse drama based on the story of Jonah, has a heretical or individualistic air about it but still comes out essentially orthodox, suggesting that man with his limited knowledge must try to act justly and mercifully, for action is his salvation if it complies with God's will. Frost's Complete Poems appeared in , and in the U.
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Senate felicitated him on his seventy-fifth birthday. In he returned to England to receive doctoral degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. On his eighty-fifth birthday the Senate again felicitated him. In , at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy , Frost recited "The Gift Outright," the first time a poet had honored a presidential inauguration. A final volume, In the Clearing, appeared in He was buried in the family plot in Old Bennington, Vt. His "lover's quarrel with the world" was over.
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Thompson has completed the first two volumes of an official Frost biography, Robert Frost , vol. The Early Years, , and vol. Years of Triumph A useful critical biography is Philip L. Gerber, Robert Frost The Record of a Friendship An interesting biography by a friend is Louis Mertins, Robert Frost: Life and Talks-Walking Reeve, Robert Frost in Russia Two sound introductions are Lawrence R.
Thompson, Fire and Ice: Brower concentrates on poetic criticism in The Poetry of Robert Frost More specialized studies are John F. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
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March 26, San Francisco , California Died: January 29, Boston, Massachusetts American poet. Robert Frost was a traditional American poet in an age of experimental art. He used New England expressions, characters, and settings, recalling the roots of American culture, to get at the common experience of all. His father, William, came from Maine and New Hampshire ancestry and had graduated from Harvard in He left New England and went to Lewistown, Pennsylvania , to teach.
He married another teacher, Isabelle Moodie, a Scotswoman, and they moved to San Francisco , where the elder Frost became an editor and politician. Robert, their first child, was named for the Southern hero General Robert E. Lee — When Frost's father died in , his will requested that he be buried in New England.
Robert Lee Frost
Lacking funds to return to California, they settled in Salem, Massachusetts, where his grandfather had offered them a home. Frost found a job teaching at a school. A momentous decision was made: Accordingly, in August the Frost family sailed across the Atlantic to England. Frost carried with him sheaves of verses he had written but not gotten into print. Taking his books home to America, Lowell then began a campaign to locate an American publisher for them, meanwhile writing her own laudatory review of North of Boston.
Without his being fully aware of it, Frost was on his way to fame.
Robert Frost - Wikipedia
Frost soon found himself besieged by magazines seeking to publish his poems. Never before had an American poet achieved such rapid fame after such a disheartening delay. From this moment his career rose on an ascending curve. Frost bought a small farm at Franconia, New Hampshire, in , but his income from both poetry and farming proved inadequate to support his family, and so he lectured and taught part-time at Amherst College and at the University of Michigan from to Any remaining doubt about his poetic abilities was dispelled by the collection Mountain Interval , which continued the high level established by his first books.
His reputation was further enhanced by New Hampshire , which received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Frost served as a poet-in-residence at Harvard —43 , Dartmouth —49 , and Amherst College —63 , and in his old age he gathered honours and awards from every quarter. Kennedy in was a memorable occasion. The natural world, for Frost, wore two faces. Even in his final volume, In the Clearing , so filled with the stubborn courage of old age, Frost portrays human security as a rather tiny and quite vulnerable opening in a thickly grown forest, a pinpoint of light against which the encroaching trees cast their very real threat of darkness.
Frost demonstrated an enviable versatility of theme, but he most commonly investigated human contacts with the natural world in small encounters that serve as metaphors for larger aspects of the human condition. Frost was widely admired for his mastery of metrical form, which he often set against the natural rhythms of everyday, unadorned speech. In this way the traditional stanza and metrical line achieved new vigour in his hands.
Here he shows his power to stand as a transitional figure between the old and the new in poetry. Frost mastered blank verse i. His chief technical innovation in these dramatic-dialogue poems was to unify the regular pentameter line with the irregular rhythms of conversational speech. Frost was the most widely admired and highly honoured American poet of the 20th century.
It is true that certain criticisms of Frost have never been wholly refuted, one being that he was overly interested in the past, another that he was too little concerned with the present and future of American society.