Robert Frost

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Born on the day of March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, California, Robert Lee Frost was one of America’s most famous poets. Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes before he died in 1963. The first one in 1924 for New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes, then in1931 for Collected Poems, in 1937 for A Further Range, and the last on in 1943 for A Witness Tree. Married to Elinor Miriam White, who was his co-valedictorian at high school, he lived in various locations throughout his life, in San Francisco, California for the first ten years of his life, then moved to New England where he lived most of his years; he also lived in Great Britain for three years where he met Edward, T. E. Hulme and Ezra Pound. Pound would become the first American to write a review of Frost's work; it was also in England that Frost wrote some of his best work. Robert Frost attended Dartmouth College, where he stayed for a little over a semester, and also Harvard University for two years. He was awarded honorary Litt. D. from Harvard, Bates College, Oxford, Cambridge, National University of Ireland, and Amherst College, and was also the first to be awarded an LL.D. from Dartmouth College (Gerber Chronology). In Robert Frost’s poems, the main themes usually had to do with nature such as: death, evil, creation, design, choices in life, and responsabilities. This is seen in the poems “The Road not Taken,” “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “Acquainted With the Night,” “Mending Wall,” “Gathering Leaves” and “Design.”

In “The Road not Taken,” (written in 1916) Frost uses a rhyme scheme of ABAAB. He describes a traveler, the speaker in the poem, who has come to a fork in the road, both literally and metaphorically. The speaker looks down both paths to help him make the choice of which one to take. The only thing he notices between the roads is that apparently one has been less traveled than the other because "it was grassy and wanted wear." He expresses a desire to know what is down both roads, but decides to use just one since he cannot be one traveler and walk two paths. He cheers himself with the possibility of returning one day to take the other road, but then doubts that he "should ever come back." In the next to last line, the speaker reveals which road he has taken, “the one less traveled by;" it was the grassy, unworn one he describes in the beginning. Then in the final line of the poem, he expresses how important his decision was, that his choice "has made all the difference” in his life.

“The Road not Taken” metaphorically suggests how difficult it is to make a decision in one’s life. If by any chance you would like to go back on your decision, going back to the beginning is not always easy or an option. “The choice confronting the speaker symbolizes all of life’s choices” (Brown 2). In this poem Frost also confuses the reader by making the roads about the same, meaning that choosing is more on impulse than on reasoning. This is shown when Frost writes that the roads are worn “about the same,” and that they were both “equally lay/In leaves no step has trodden black” (Brown 1). It is implied that both roads have been traveled about the same, therefore leading to the conclusion that Frost wants to have things both ways in this poem to show the importance of the path you choose.

Much like “The Road not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (written in 1923) is also about decision making and continuing on a road. Frost uses a rhyme scheme of AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD, the third line of each of the first three stanzas predicts the predominant rhyme of the next stanza. In this poem, the narrator is traveling along a country road where he sees a wooded area. He stops and gazes at the calm, snowy scene, simply to consider and appreciate its beauty. He praises the "easy wind and downy flake" and describes the woods as "lovely, dark and deep." By describing the woods with a combination of the words “lovely” and “dark,” Frost creates...
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