Robert Frost is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century. As a poet, he explored many themes, but one oft-mentioned question remains: was Robert Frost a Christian? Frost wrote about many of the virtues and themes used in Christianity, and although he had a deep spiritual life, he never definitively claimed to identify as a Christian.
Frost was born in San Francisco to parents of British heritage, and the Frost family attended a local Congregational Church. According to his biographer, Frost often recited the Psalms while attending Church. Additionally, Frost was baptized into the Church and attended until he was in his late teens. Yet, even in these early years, it seems that Frost adopted a more individualistic view of religion and spirituality. He became highly critical of the Church and even declared in a letter to a friend that he was done with faith. This change in religion came as no surprise, as Frost was the son of a journalist who himself had adopted an agnostic point of view.
Frost’s poetry is full of themes and characters that could be interpreted as Christian. He wrote often about Jesus and his death, interpreting them in a more humanistic way. In some of Frost’s most famous poems, such as “The Road Not Taken,” he wrote about faith and redemption, hinting to readers that he, despite his initial break from Christianity, still embraced a spirituality. In other poems, Frost wrote of a higher power, such as in “A Prayer in Spring, in which he wrote of God and His power.
Frost himself was never quite able to make a definitive statement about his faith. His biographers point to a general sense of agnosticism in Frost, one that he felt was reflective of the modern world and skeptical of any clear faith-based answers to questions asked. In a few public talks, Frost spoke cryptically of God and of Creation, yet he never committed himself. This attitude of Frost’s was seen throughout his poetry, too, as he explored themes of nature, God, and redemption without committing to any one side.
Was Robert Frost a Christian? It is hard to say for certain, as Frost was never shy about expressing his beliefs. However, he most certainly had some spiritual beliefs and explored themes in both his poetry and his life that could be interpreted as being influenced by Christianity. Nonetheless, Frost continually played the skeptic, leaving his true faith unknown until the day he died.
Religion In His Poetry
Frost wrote several religious-themed poems, most of which could be interpreted as Christian. In “A Prayer in Spring,” he wrote of praying to God and of the wonders of Creation. In “Birches,” he reflected on the idea of living forever after resurrection. In “Choose Something Like a Star,” he likened the motions of the stars to the will of God. Throughout these poems and more, Frost explored themes of faith and redemption, hinting at his own beliefs, yet he never made an outright statement about them.
In addition to these poems, Frost explored the Christian concepts of death and resurrection, sin and damnation, and mankind’s relationship with God in his general works. For example, in “Mending Wall,” Frost wrote of the ancestors’ subjection to old religious beliefs and traditions. In “The Glass of Water,” Frost addressed mankind’s relationship with God through the metaphor of a glass of water: it is both ubiquitous and dependable, yet it is also fragile and easily broken. Again, Frost never made a definitive statement about his beliefs, but his exploration of religious themes sheds light on his own thoughts.
Despite Frost’s exploration of religious themes in his poetry, he never made a definitive statement about his faith. He embraced a spirituality that was driven by individual thought and reflection, rather than by an organized religion. Yet even though he remained agnostic, Frost admitted that he was intrigued by faith and faith-based beliefs. He wrote of his admiration for Christianity, as well as of his own struggle with it.
Frost wrote about faith in many of his works, yet he never committed himself to one side or the other. In a few public talks, he cryptically hinted at a faith-based worldview, yet even then he avoided any sort of definitive statement. The themes and characters that populate Frost’s work suggest a spiritual life of some kind, yet the specifics remain unknown.
Frost’s interest in faith and faith-based questions began in his childhood. His parents were British immigrants who had adopted a more agnostic point of view. They were members of the Congregational Church and Frost attended services. Yet he became more and more critical of the Church as he grew older, leading to a break with it in his late teenage years.
Frost’s parents also had a strong influence on his views, as his father was a journalist who adopted a more individualistic approach to religion and spirituality. Frost followed in his father’s footsteps, finding solace in nature and in his own reflections on life. This individualistic approach to spirituality was what Frost carried with him for the rest of his life and was reflected in his works.
Frost’s break from organized religion, as well as his agnostic views, may have also been a response to the tragedy that struck his family in his teenage years. In 1885, Frost’s father died of tuberculosis, and in 1886, his sister Jeanie committed suicide. This tragedy caused Frost to become even more critical of faith and faith-based questions.
Frost’s views on faith and religion were shaped by his early life experiences, as well as by his parents’ views. His break from the Congregational Church and his subsequent agnostic worldview may have been a response to the tragedy that struck his family. Nonetheless, Frost did keep a deep spiritual life, as was seen in his poems and talks.
Exploring Faith in His Works
Frost explored themes of faith, spirituality, and redemption in his works. He wrote of Jesus and the power of death and resurrection, interpreting them in a more humanistic way. In poems such as “Birches” and “Choose Something Like a Star,” he wrote of faith and redemption, hinting that he was still engaging with faith-based ideas.
These themes were further seen in Frost’s works such as “Mending Wall” and “The Glass of Water.” In “Mending Wall,” Frost wrote of the ancestors’ subjection to old religious beliefs and traditions, while in “The Glass of Water,” he explored mankind’s relationship with God.
Frost never quite made a definitive statement about his faith, yet these themes of faith and redemption were pervasive throughout his works. Frost’s agnosticism was reflective of the modern age, one that was increasingly skeptical of traditional faith-based answers to questions.
Frost’s works reveal much about his spiritual life. He wrote of faith and redemption, of Jesus and his death, and of the wonders of Creation. He appeared to embrace an agnosticism, yet the themes of faith sprinkled in his works suggest that he was still engaging with faith-based beliefs.
As Frost matured, his religious views stayed relatively unchanged. He continued to explore themes of faith in his works and gave cryptic but suggestive talks on faith and faith-based questions. He never made an outright statement about his faith, yet he hinted at a spiritual life and understanding of faith-based concepts.
Frost’s views of faith and religion evolved as he aged, and he began to embrace a more individualistic view of faith. In some of Frost’s letters, he wrote of his admiration for the Church and religion, while also expressing his skepticism and criticism. This individualistic faith is reflected in his works, as he explored universal themes of God, nature, and redemption without committing to any one side.
Frost was never one to shy away from expressing his opinions on faith, yet he never made a definitive statement. He embraced a more individualistic spirituality and reflected this in his works. As Frost continued to write and speak, he explored themes of faith and religion, yet never committing himself to one side or the other.
Frost did not identify himself with any one religion, yet he did have a spiritual life of some kind. From his works and talks, readers can gather that he explored themes of faith and redemption, hinting at his own understanding and appreciation for faith-based concepts. Frost’s agnosticism may, in the end, be reflective of the modern world and his own scepticism of any clear faith-based answers to questions asked.