Robert Frost's Approach to the Theme of Death
Reflected In His Poetry.
“All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech.”(Frost .R. Class Slide2)
Throughout Frost's poetry it is clear to envisage that Frost himself had experienced great loss. His poem’s take you through some of the stages of grief he had experienced at various points in his life. There is a certain cathartic quality to his poems, it is obvious Frost used the medium of creative writing as a release from his grief, enabling him to process his losses, to accept and heal from them. His own father had died when Frost was just a boy himself and during his married life Frost found himself a father also to six offspring. His life was touched by tragedy again as he and his wife lost two of these children. One child was still born the other died at three years old. The echoes of grief can be found in the poem Home burial. "Tell me about if it's something human. Let me into your grief. I'm not so much unlike other folk as your standing there. This sections comes as the husband is pleading with the wife to communicate with him. The wife is inconsolable and is trying to flee and says to her husband "There you go sneering now!" Frost breaks this line in the middle to suggest how profoundly at odds they are, how much psychic as well as literal space separates them. (Kilcup 1988.) Again he pleads with her “A man can't speak of his own child that's dead. Any rhetorical question demands, expects, the hearer's automatic agreement; there is nothing it expects less than a particular, specific denial. The man's "Can't a man speak . . ." means "Isn't any man allowed to speak . . . ," but her fatally specific answer, "Not you!" makes it mean, "A man cannot—is not able to—speak, if the man is you, (Jarrell 1999.) “She then implies how insensitive he has been over the child's death and repeats the words to him that he had said after burying the child" Three foggy mornings and one rainy day will rot...
References: Faggen, R (1997) Modern American Poetry-On Home Burial [internet] accessed on 30th Dec 2012
Jarrell, R (1999) Modern American Poetry-On Home Burial [internet] accessed on 28th Dec 2012
Kilcup, K. (1988) Modern American Poetry-On Home Burial [internet] accessed 6th Jan 2014
Wood, K.M (2008) The Contribution of Literary Allusion to Robert Frosts Out Out. [Internet] available at: http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/the-contribution-of-literary-allusion-to-robert-frosts-out-out-50964/. Accessed 20th Jan 2014
Frost, R (1981) Selected Poems1st Edition. Edited with an introduction by Ian Hamilton. Published in Penguin Books.
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