Robert Frost was a four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, teacher, and lecturer. He is well known for his poems depicting the rural countryside of New England and his universally relatable themes. Frost endured a rough upbringing and tragic events later in life; however, he had an explosive career of writing poetry in New England and America. Frost was also well respected for being a teacher and his speeches. Robert Frost is one of America’s greatest poetry writers, teachers and public speaker’s, who had a long and influential career and delivered a unique style and powerful themes in his work. Robert Lee Frost was born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. His father, William Prescott Frost, Jr., was a journalist and New England transplant who named him after his personal hero, Robert E Lee. During Robert Frost’s childhood, “his father drank hard, carried a pistol, and kept a jar of pickled bull testicles on his desk, while his mother suffered from depression” (Shmoop Editorial Team). When his father died of tuberculosis when Robert was just twelve years old, they moved from California to Lawrence, Massachusetts, to live with his paternal grandparents. Despite these troubled years, Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892 as co-valedictorian. “From an early age, he was exposed to reading and writing and the works of William Shakespeare, Robert Burns, and William Wordsworth” (Merriman). He enrolled at Dartmouth College, but dropped out after one semester in order to work. For the next two years he struggled with two of his goals: successfully getting a poem published and getting his co-valedictorian to marry him. She was not impressed with his attempt to win her over with a printed book of his poetry. In distraught, he took off to Dismal swamp, a place where poets like to write about their heartsick feelings. While there, he joined a group of duck hunters and eventually returned to Lawrence with a changed attitude. He had a new theme that appeared frequently in his poetry. The theme was about setting out alone into nature and losing oneself in the wild. Upon his return from the Dismal swamp, his first poem, My Butterfly was published in November 1894. The next December, he married his love, Elinor.
Robert Frost and his new wife Elinor White began their life together teaching but things changed very quickly for them. In September 1896, they had their first son, Elliott. Then in 1897, Frost enrolled at Harvard, but was forced to leave before finishing his degree to support their growing family as they had a daughter, Lesley, on the way. Very soon after her birth, Elliott died of Cholera at four years old. They moved to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire that was given to Frost by his grandfather. Over the next 10 years, they farmed poultry and had four more children, the youngest of which died a few days after birth. They also taught English at local Pinkerton Academy. During this time, Frost had almost no success getting his poetry published; however, the time spent on the farm did inspire some future works. He also formed a love of nature, the great outdoors and rural countryside. (Merriman) By 1911, Frost decided it was time to sell the farm and move the family to Great Britain where it was cheaper to live and he had the best chance of becoming a professional poet. It was here that he befriended a few “literary notables” that helped him launch his career.
Within a few months of moving to England, at 38 years old, Robert Frost truly began his career as a poet and found a publisher that would publish his first two books of poems, A Boy’s Will, and North of Boston. “He also met two poets who would affect his life and career in significant ways, Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas” (Bio.com). They were the first to review his work and provide encouragement. Frost gave credit to Thomas’ long walks over the English landscape and indecisiveness and regret of which path to take as inspiration for one of...
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