Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
FURTHER READING
Related Prose
A Close Look at Robert Frost
by John Hollander
From the Archive: Robert Frost
Groundbreaking Book: North of Boston by Robert Frost (1914)
Metaphor in Literature
by Matthew Zapruder
Poetry and Power: Robert Frost's Inaugural Reading
Poetry Landmark: The Frost Place in Franconia, NH
Robert Frost's Christmas Cards
Sincerity and Inventions: On Robert Frost
by Carol Frost
Transcript: Robert Frost's Contrarieties
by Stanley Burnshaw
Transcript: Senator Edward M. Kennedy Reads His Favorite Poems
External Links
A Frost Bouquet
Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, at the University of Virginia.
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
A collection of critical, historical, and biographical information at the Modern American Poetry site.
Three Volumes, &c. The Complete Works to December 1920
From the Columbia University Bartleby Library: A Boy's Will (1913), North of Boston (1914), Mountain Interval (1916), and Additional Poems (1920). "With Selected Recordings by the Editor."
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print
Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, where his father, William Prescott Frost Jr., and his mother, Isabelle Moodie, had moved from Pennsylvania shortly after marrying. After the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved with his mother and sister, Jeanie, who was two years younger, to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1892, and later at Harvard University in Boston, though he never earned a formal college degree.

Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first published poem, "My Butterfly," appeared on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.

In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, whom he'd shared valedictorian honors with in high school and who was a major inspiration for his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after they tried and failed at farming in New Hampshire. It was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work.

By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1913) and North of Boston (Henry Holt and Company, 1914), and his reputation was established. By the 1920s, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923), A Further Range (Henry Holt and Company, 1936), Steeple Bush (Henry Holt and Company, 1947), and In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962)—his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased.

Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England—and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time—Frost is anything but merely a regional poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

In a 1970 review of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman describes Frost's early work as "the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources of its own delight in the world," and comments on Frost's career as The American Bard: "He became a national celebrity, our nearly official Poet Laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular, Mark Twain."

About Frost, President John F. Kennedy, at whose inauguration the poet delivered a poem, said, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding."

Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.



A Selected Bibliography

Poetry

In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962) Hard Not to Be King (House of Books, 1951)
Steeple Bush (Henry Holt and Company, 1947)
Masque of Reason (Henry Holt and Company, 1945)
Come In, and Other Poems (Henry Holt and Company, 1943)
A Witness Tree (Henry Holt and Company, 1942)
A Further Range (Henry Holt and Company, 1936)
From Snow to Snow (Henry Holt and Company, 1936)
The Lone Striker (Knopf, 1933)
The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (Random House, 1929)
West-Running Brook (Henry Holt and Company, 1928)
New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923)
Mountain Interval (Henry Holt and Company, 1916)
North of Boston (Henry Holt and Company, 1914)
A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1913)


Multimedia

From the Image Archive

Poems by
Robert Frost

"Out, Out—"
A Line-storm Song
Acquainted with the Night
After Apple-Picking
An Old Man's Winter Night
Birches
Blueberries
Bond and Free
Christmas Trees
Design
Dust of Snow
Fire and Ice
For Once, Then, Something
Ghost House
Going for Water
Home Burial
Meeting and Passing
Mending Wall
Mowing
Nothing Gold Can Stay
October
Reluctance
The Death of the Hired Man
The Oven-Bird
The Pasture
The Road Not Taken
The Sound of the Trees
To Earthward

Want more poetry?
Sign up to receive our
monthly update emails.




Support independent booksellers
Make your purchase online through IndieBound or find a local bookstore on the National Poetry Map.

Sponsor a Poet Page
This page is supported by:

Larry Sampson
Spanish Fort, AL

Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.