Frost, Robert. (1875 - 1963).
L i f e
- his life = a Gothic chronicle of disasters
- the death of his father, the death of his 1st child in infancy, the suicide of his only son, the death of his daughter in childbirth, the mental illness of another his daughter, and the refusal of his wife on her deathbed to admit him to her room
W o r k
< T. Hardy: his suspicion of the universe being governed by a malevolent God, or, worse, not governed at all
< W. James: his scepticism and pragmatism
< W. Whitman: his intimate lyricism and patriotism – the ‘You come too’ line from his “The Pasture”
- content: simplicity of subject matter, seemingly easily accessible x but: very complex
- setting: nature, farm a favourite location (a hobby farmer on the farm his grandfather bought him in New Hampshire)
- form: the traditional rhymed iambic pentameter, or blank verse [= unrhymed iambic pentameter] x the modernist free verse
- an uncanny feeling for the ‘sentence sounds’ natural to the American language
=> modernist/modern poetry: sceptical, questioning, and settling for no easy answers
(a) long blank-verse poems: “Home Burial”
(b) short rhymed lyrics: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
< W. Shakespeare’s songs, P. B. Shelley’s choruses, and J. Keats’s odes > his song-like quality
(c) philosophical rhymed sonnets: “Design” and “The Oven Bird”
< Latatin poets > his use of hendecasyllabics [= 11-syllable lines]: “For Once, Then, Something”
(d) pre-Christian nature poems: “The Most of It”, enigmatic; “For Once, Then, Something”, elusive; “Time Out”, unreadable; “Home Burial”, unmerciful
(e) dramatic monologue poems
A Boy's Will (1913):
- his 1st collection
- the title: from H. W. Longfellow’s line: ‘A boy’s will is the wind’s will’
North of Boston (1914):
- left for England and published the collection with the help of E. Pound
New Hampshire (1923):
- returned to US, and found himself popular x unlike E. Pound
(Photo: Walter Albertin. 1959. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorRobert (Lee) Frost. (1875 - 1963). American.
WorkPoet. Author of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".
GenreModern poetry. Regionalism.
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"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in".
From "The Death of the Hired Man".