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Poetry Research Essay

Robert Frost

    Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, on March 26, 1874. Frost was named after General Robert E. Lee, who is famous for his military work in the Civil War for the South (Holt, Henry). At the age of eleven, Frost became interested in reading and writing poetry during high school. Frost went to high school in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Frost and his mother Isabelle Moodie Frost moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts after his father died. His father's name was William Prescott Frost Jr. He was an ambitious journalist. His father died of tuberculosis. Frost graduated from high school as co-valedictorian with the woman he was going marry, Elinor Miriam White, in 1891. Frost was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892 (Holt, Henry). He attended Dartmouth for less than a term. He returned home to support his family, and because college bored him. He went on to teach at various schools and to work at various jobs, such as working in factories and becoming a newspaperman. In the year 1897, he entered Harvard College as a special student. He only attended Harvard for two years. He became sick and rejoined with his wife in Lawrence (Brunner, Edward). His wife was going to have their second baby, named Lesley. She was born on April 28, 1899. Their first baby was Elliot. She was born on September 25, 1896. Their third child Carol, was born on May 27, 1902.

    Robert Frost's sold his first poem in 1894. He sold his first poem, 'My Butterfly: An Elegy', to a New York magazine, The Independent
. He continued to write poems and sell them to magazines. In that same year, Frost was trying to persuade Elinor to marry him. Elinor wanted to finish college before she were to get married. A year later on December 1895 Elinor finished college. Elinor and Robert got married. Their first baby died and Elinor went into depression. Frost's mother died on November 2, 1900, and he was also affected by depression (Revels, Rebekah). Elinor was a major inspiration to Robert, until she died in 1938. Most of the poems that Frost wrote were in dedication to Elinor. After Frost's grandfather died, he inherited 500 dollars, and his grandfather's farm. He began to work the same farm for nine long years, until the farm failed. Frost was broke and his family was destitute. He decided to sell his farm and he moved to England with his family.

    Frost became a huge success in England. People loved his poems. After the first World War started, Frost decided to move back to America. Magazines who had rejected his poems previously were now begging for interviews with Frost. In 1920 Frost purchased a farm in South Shaftsbury, Vermont (
Ly, Liam). The farm was near Middlebury College where he taught English classes. Robert Frost used his philosophy of life in his teaching of young poets. Frost loved nature, he believed that nature was similar to human nature, and in his poems, he displayed those thoughts. In "Nothing Gold Can Stay," the poem talks about how people start out innocent, but their innocence is lost as they age. Like how golden leaves fade and are gone as the seasons change (Revels, Rebekah). A few years after the death of his wife, Frost became attracted to Kay Morrison. She was his secretary and adviser. Frost wrote one of his finest love poem to her, "A Witness Tree".  

    Robert Frost is known as one of the greatest poets in the history. In 1923, one of his collections of poems, received a Pulitzer Prize. Two of his other collections also received Pulitzer Prizes. Robert Frost was always a shy person, but as his fame grew, he conquered his shyness. After teaching, he developed a brief and simple speaking manner that made him a very popular performer in America (Nelson, Cary). Robert Frost also taught at Amherst, receiving a master of the arts. He had also co-founded Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College, serving there each summer as a lecturer and a consultant. In 1923, Frost returned to Amherst for two years and also returned to the University of Michigan in 1925, but settled at Amherst in 1926 (Brunner, Edward). His latest book, West Running Brook, was published in 1928. Frost continued to use his usage of tonal variations and his mixture of lyrics and narratives. In 1928, Frost visited England and Paris. In that following year, he also published a new book, Collected Poems.

    Frost's success was short-lived. He began to swirl into a deep depression. In 1934, his daughter Marjorie died, which was another painful loss for him. Robert Frost had a lot of personal tragedies in his life. Robert Frost had weak lungs, so his doctors ordered him to the South in 1936 (Brown, Josh Bibliography). Robert Frost spent his winters in Florida. From 1936 to 1937, Frost served on the Harvard staff and received an honorary doctorate. After his wife died of a heart attack, Frost resigned from the Amherst staff and sold his house. His depression was slowly easing away, he had been elected to the Board of Overseers of Harvard College. His depression would become deeper, because in 1940, his only surviving son took his life. His son was an inspiring poet, and could not deal with the recognition of his father's poems (Davis, Mark). In 1945, Robert Frost composed new poems and had them published. On his 75th birthday, the United States honored him. In 1957, Frost returned to England and received doctoral degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. On January 29, 1963, Frost died in Boston, Massachusetts, due to complications after an operation (Nelson, Cary). He was buried in Old Bennington, Vermont.


Brown, Josh  "Robert Frost." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 18 Feb. 2012.

Brunner, Edward and Nelson, Cary "Robert Frost." Welcome to English « Department of English, College of LAS,
University of Illinois
. Web. 18 Feb. 2012.

Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
"Robert Frost." : The Poetry Foundation. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.

Revels, Rebekah "Robert Frost." The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Web. 18 Feb. 2012.