American Poetry Interpretation

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  • Topic: Poetry, The Wall, Luther Wright and the Wrongs
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American Poetry Interpretation Paper
Robert D Tremble
University of Phoenix
American Literature Since 1860
ENG 492
Carol Childs
June 22, 2009

American Poetry Interpretation Paper
Robert Frost is one of the most recognizable names in American Poetry. His work is consistently used in literature textbooks and lectures as a staple of poetic excellence. Frost’s work was so compelling that he is one of the few poets to have his work taught to students while he was still living. Much of Frost’s work contains similar themes. Death, discontent, and questions of the world’s social order are common for the poet. The Mending Wall (1914), Once by the Pacific (1928) and Design (1936) are just a few examples that illustrate the darker side of Frost’s psyche. Like so many artists, Frost drew from his personal experiences as inspiration for his poetry. Frost is described by biographers as having “links between the events of Frost’s own life – a gothic chronicle of disasters – and the poetry”. (McQuade et al., 1999, p. 1901) Frost lost his father at a very early age. He was only 11 year old at the time of his father’s death. “But it was not only the early death of his father that convinced Frost of the evil in existence. His own first child died in infancy; his only son committed suicide; one daughter died after childbirth, and another was mentally ill; his embittered wife refused on her deathbed to admit him to her room”. (McQuade et al., 1999, p. 1901) Frost experienced a great deal of loss throughout his life and that loss is reflected in his work. That loss, however, is not always easily uncovered. Frost often masked the pain in his writings with symbolism and metaphors. Mending Wall is a metaphor for the frustration Frost feels with the inability to maintain human relationships and the forces that are tearing those relationships down. The imagery in the poem depicts a broken wall and describes boulders that have fallen. This paints a portrait of an...
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