June 20

Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Robert Frost is recognized as one of America’s greatest poets. Frost became interested in poetry while at high school. Although he attended college and Harvard University, he did not complete a degree, although several universities awarded him honorary degrees later on. He worked in many different jobs, including as a teacher. Frost marveled at his surroundings, enjoyed working as a farmer, and his love of nature is reflected in his poetry.

Success did not come easily to Frost, and his life was not without its challenges. It took almost twenty years for his first volume of poetry to be published. He suffered from the devastating loss of four of his six children died prematurely, two as infants. His beloved sister, wife and mother also had untimely deaths.

Many people see Frost’s work as a ‘bridge’ between 19th and 20th century poetry. Frost is one of the world’s most acclaimed poets, receiving four Pulitzer prizes for his poetry.

Not long after his death, President Kennedy said of Frost:

“The death of Robert Frost leaves a vacancy in the American spirit….His death impoverishes us all; but he has bequeathed his Nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding.”

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In the movie below, local Derry historian, Larry Seaman, looks at Frost’s life, concentrating on his time as a farmer in Derry.

The websites below each give information about Frost’s life, and links to a range of poems. Choose a range of websites and video clips to look at:

Robert Frost – biography and links to poems

Robert Frost – brief biography and links to his poems

Robert Frost – biography, poems and quotations

Robert Frost – a more lengthy biography

Mashpedia provides a good overall selection of material about Robert Frost:

Here are a selection of websites and clips about specific poems, but extend your search further than these. You will find that both Frost and his poems have many sides, and are open to interpretation. In other words, read different opinions and come to your own conclusions.

After Apple Picking

After Apple Picking (website including poem, summary, analysis themes etc. – follow the prompts).
Birches

Birches – An analysis

Birches (analysis)

Fire and Ice (video clip of poem read by Richard Burton)

Fire and Ice – An Analysis (follow prompts to further pages)

Fire and Ice – An Analysis

Mending Wall (video clip set to footage of the Berlin Wall)

Mending Wall (a video clip reading of the poem and a copy of the poem itself).

An Analysis of Mending Wall

 Out, out – (copy of poem, reference to ‘Macbeth’ and some worthwhile comments).

‘Out, out-‘

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (analysis of poem)

The Need to be Versed in Country Things (copy of poem and short commentary)

The Need to be Versed in Country Things (analysis of poem)

The Road Not Taken (Ford ad at very end) Look also at different interpretations of this poem below.

The Road Not Taken (a video clip reading of the poem and a copy of the poem itself).

The Road Not Taken – An Analysis

Here’s a lecture about Robert Frost’s life, in particular an analysis of ‘The Road Not Taken’, which casts a different light on the poem to that given in the Ford video clip (above). It’s well worth watching!

The Wood-pile (poem and some commentary)

Tree at my Window (the fourth of five short poems being read aloud; also notes on website below video).

Read more of Frost’s poetry in the Aquinas College Library at 811 FRO, or about Frost’s life: 811.09 FRO

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