Robert Frost: Life and Works

Robert Frost: His life and works and notes for BA English Students of Semester 3 of BBMKU and VBU Universities. These notes are very helpful for other Universities in Jharkhand.

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Robert Frost Biography

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 his father’s death from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts, with his mother and sister, Jeanie, two years younger. He was tempted to read and write poems in his high school days in Lawrence and enrolled in Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1892 and later at Harvard University. However, he never earned a formal degree.

robert frost
Robert Frost

Frost drifted through a string of professions 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, with whom he had shared valedictorian honors in high school and who was a significant inspiration for his poetry until she died in 1938. The couple shifted to England in 1912 after failing to farm in New Hampshire. Frost was influenced by contemporary British poets such as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also established friendships with the poet Ezra Pound, who supported promoting and publishing of his work.

Frost came back to the US in 1915, he published two full-length collections, A Boy’s Will (Henry Holt & Company, 1913) and North of Boston (Henry Holt & Company, 1914), thereby establishing his reputation. By the 1920s, he was the most renowned American poet, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (Henry Holt & Company, 1923), A Further Range (Henry Holt & Company, 1936), Steeple Bush (Henry Holt &Company, 1947), and In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962)—his fame and awards, including four Pulitzer Prizes, enriched. Frost served as a consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress from 1958–59. In 1962, he was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. 

In a 1970 examination of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman clarifies Frost’s early work as “the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources of its delight in the world” and remarks 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.”

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

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