by Jordan MacWilliams
December 15th 2004
The Great American Poet
Robert Frost was one of America's greatest poets who wrote of the ordinary; life, death and all that is between. Robert Frost was born Robert Lee Frost in 1874 to a Southern American man and his wife, of Scottish descent. Although Frost is primarily associated with New England through the poems that he wrote he was in fact born in San Francisco. It was here that he spent his childhood until the age of eleven. It was at this time, in 1885, that tragedy stuck the Frost family with the death of Robert Frost's father. After the death of his father Robert moved with his mother and sister to eastern Massachusetts near his paternal grandparents. After the move to Massachusetts, Robert Frost went to Lawrence High School where he wrote his first poems. It was from Lawrence High School that he graduated as co-valedictorian with the woman he was to later marry: Elinor Miriam White. In 1892 Robert Frost attended Dartmouth College but ended up staying for less than a term. He returned home to teach school and worked at various jobs. In 1894 he was unable to persuade Elinor to marry him as she wanted to complete college first. He decide to head south on a journey into Virginia's Dismal Swamp. After he managed to emerge relatively unscathed he came home to Lawrence where he and Elinor were finally married in December 1895. Elinor and Robert taught school for a time. In 1897 Frost entered Harvard College as a special student but remained there just short of two years because of uncertain health. He left Harvard and rejoined his wife in Lawrence, where she was about to bear a second child. In October of 1900 he moved his family on a farm in New Hampshire that was purchased for him by his grandfather. It was there that he wrote many of the poems that would go into his first published volumes, a nine year endeavor. Robert Frost tried but his attempt at poultry farming was not successful. In 1906, for income he was teaching English at Pinkerton Academy, a secondary school in New Hampshire. In 1912 after teaching at the State Normal School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, he sold his farm and sailed with his family from Boston to Glasgow. They then settled outside London, England, in Beaconsfield. During their married life Elinor and Robert had six children, two of whom died in infancy. After Robert Frost's arrival in England he sent his first book of poems, A Boy's Will (1913) to a small London publisher, David Nutt. It was in England that he made acquaintances in the literary world with people such as such as F. S. Flint, a poet who introduced him to Ezra Pound. It was Ezra Pound who reviewed both A Boy's Will and Frost's next book of poems, North of Boston, which followed it the next year. He became friends with Wilfred Gibson and Lascelles Abercrombie, both members of the Georgian school of poets and it was at their urging that in 1914 he, "moved to Gloucestershire to be nearer them and to experience English country living." (http:// www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/frost/life.htm, paragraph three.) Of all the friends that he made in England, the most important was Edward Thomas. Frost encouraged Thomas to write poetry and Thomas in exchange wrote, "sharply intelligent reviews of Frost's first two books. While many reviewers were content to speak of the American poet's 'simplicity' and artlessness, Thomas recognized the originality and success of Frost's experiments with the cadences of vernacular speech--with what Frost called 'the sound of sense'." (http:// www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/frost/life.htm, paragraph three.) Upon England's entry into the First World War Frost returned to America. When Frost landed in New York City in 1915, Frost discovered that his American publisher, Henry Holt, had brought out North of Boston. Frost was, "fêted by...
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