When Did Robert Frost Live

Robert Frost was a renowned American poet whose work was born in the early-to-mid-20th century. Born in 1874 and dying in 1963, Frost wrote a vast number of memorable and classical works – many of which are still quoted, studied and admired today. Many of Frost’s works have deeper meanings, but at the same time, musically and rhythmically remain the same as they have been for most of a century, cementing the poet’s legacy in the literary world.

Frost was born in San Francisco and primarily spent his childhood in California and throughout New England. In 1912, Frost moved his family to England and spent two years there, writing poems and giving talks from both England and Scotland. During this time, Frost composed some of his most memorable works and met some of his prominent literary associates. He returned to the United States after two years, settling in New Hampshire.

During World War I, Frost took charge of his family’s farm in Derry New Hampshire, which was where he primarily wrote material for the rest of his life. From the midst of the war, Frost released his first book of poetry in 1916, titled A Boy’s Will

Between 1920 and 1929, Frost published 11 more books of poetry. His works received more and more critical acclaim and began making their mark in the public eye. Frost received a Pulitzer Prize in 1924 and was honored and awarded a further three during his lifetime. He was also given an honorary PhD from multiple universities including Harvard, Penn and Oxford.

Frost’s lifestyle and works were eternally linked to New England, the landscape and weather often being a source of contrast and inspiration for his work in the form of metaphors and imagery. He served for several years as the Carnegie Foundation Fellow for Education In the Arts and was appointed as an Honorary Consultant in Education by the Library of Congress, and was a distinguished Fellow at the Library of King’s College, Cambridge.

Frost’s works receieved over 40 separate awards for his poetry and his works even appeared in the textbooks for high schools. Robert Frost touched millions of people due to his gentle writes, memorable images, and his unique style which mixed the formal with the contemporary. He died from prostate cancer in 1963.

Early Days and Childhood

Robert Frost’s upbringing was steeped in the natural setting of New England, as he was born in San Francisco to Isabelle Moodie and William Prescott Frost, Jr. The family soon moved back east, settling in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As a boy Frost was greatly interested in the outdoors and his father’s profession of a journalist. He developed a close affinity and bond with nature which affected his writing in later years.

By the age of 11, Frost’s father died of consumed tuberculosis which meant that his mother had to support the family as a schoolteacher. Frost composed many poems throughout his childhood, encouraged by his mother and schoolteacher, Occupying the same role in Frost’s life before his father did, his mother became the most important figure for Frost’s development of his love for poetry.

By the age of twenty-two, Frost attended Dartmouth University and then Harvard University, but dropped out after his first semester. He then returned to Lawrence, Massachusetts and began working various odd jobs while still writing poetry. This period of his life was documented by numerous biographers most prominently in the book Robert Frost and the New England Renaissance, which discusses his early years through formative events.

Frost eventually married Elinor Miriam White in 1895, with whom he had six children. They eventually moved to England for two years and then back to America, settling in Derry, New Hampshire.

End of His Life and Legacy

In 1940, Frost was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and spent much of his time in the vicinity of Boston and New England. During this period of his life, Frost wrote the less famous works Acquainted With the Night, the Road Not Taken, and Home Burial. Frost kept working continually and wrote many more acclaimed piece of work until his death.

Robert Frost had a great affinity for the outdoors and nature, and this remained an incite of influence throughout his life. Even in his last poem ‘Provide, Provide’, Frost captures the constant presence of night and night and this same presence features in a great deal of his work.

Robert Frost died on Jan. 29, 1963 in Boston and was buried in Bennington, Vermont. Frost had made his mark and his beautiful language, some of which has become cliched today, and memories endure for decades following his passing. He won over 40 awards due to the quality and beauty of his poetry, and at the time of his death, he was the most popular and acclaimed American poet.

Impact on the Literary Word

Robert Frost’s works are still studied, read and quoted to this day, not only by critics or academics, but also by people within the general public. His poems, predominantly written in the modernist style, often captured the urban and natural landscapes of New England over the years, providing readers with a tangible connection to Frost’s world.

He was able to use everyday language that was still rhythmically beautiful, mixing classical poetic techniques, such as iambic pentameter, with modernist prose. Frost also generally eschewed traditional rhyme schemes, leaving his work free to interpret and free musicality to interpret his nuanced language.

Frost’s legacy has proven enduring, being one of the most widely read poets in the United States. Over the years, Frost has won many of the most prestigious awards in American Literature, including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Congressional Medal of Honor and the National Medal of Arts. It’s that same legacy that can be seen throughout the bodies of work of many modern American poets.

Style and Poetic Motifs

Frost’s style was built upon melodies of everyday language mixed with traditional poetic techniques, often focusing on presenting his musings on life and humanity in a unique way. Though not a full modernist due to his preoccupation with traditional poetry, Frost’s poetry was sometimes complex and metaphysical, mixing his literary and philosophical musings with his personal experience.

His works often reflect on themes of lost love, childhood memories, nature, and responsibility. In some ways, Frost embodies the New England wilderness, his writing often capturing the feeling of what it was to stand in the ruins of such a place, people, and history.

Frost’s works also captured a tragic side of reality, as his famous poem The Road Not Taken reflects on the idea of choices, and thus, regret. This energy and philosophy is also captured in Frost’s other renowned works such as Mending Wall and Home Burial, which both explore the fragility and pain of life, as well as its inevitable passing.

Influence on the Wider World

Frost’s works were not limited to the realm of literary, but often extended to the visual and musical world. His works were interpreted, adapted and borrowed by many musical artists, including Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel, who constructed their albums with Frost’s imagery and core themes interchangeably.

Frost’s work also expands beyond the page, video adaptation of his work, particularly ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, was made featuring high profile actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Julianne Moore, and more broadly, a book of children’s stories based on Frost’s work is due to be released entitled, ‘Stories from the Life and Poems of Robert Frost’.

In today’s world, Robert Frost stands as an icon of New England, his unwavering dedication to the stories, sceneries and anecdotes of this region building an immense catalogue of work. His work still continually influences many of today’s writers, not only historically and conceptually, but in terms of the message of his writing.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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