SUMMARY: Robert Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) American poet
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One of the best known poets of all time, Robert Frost is studied in classrooms across the world for his poignant poetry, often involving nature. The following is information about Robert Frost’s life and poetry.
Life and education
Robert Lee Frost, who was named after the Civil War general Robert E. Lee, was born March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, California. Both parents were teachers, exposing him from an early age to literature and famous poets such as Shakespeare and Wordsworth.
His poetry career started at a young age as well, publishing poems in his school paper as young as 16. He graduated at the top of his class and went on to begin his college career at Dartmouth in 1892. However, he decided college life wasn’t for him and took odd jobs, from teaching to laboring, while writing poetry.
At the height of his career, Frost experienced a great deal of loss. His four children were married and he spent a great deal of time with his children and grandchildren within a period of a few years. His daughter Marjorie died in 1934 after the birth of her first child. In 1938, his wife died of a heart attack. Two years later, in 1940, his son Carol committed suicide.
Robert Frost died January 29, 1963, in Boston. He was buried in his family’s plot in Vermont.
Although he began writing poems from a young age, he got his break when, in 1894, Independent, a magazine based in New York, published his poem, “My Butterfly: An Elegy,” for which he was paid $15.
In 1911, Frost, his wife Elinor, and their four children moved to England. In 1913, Frost got his big break when his first collection of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published. Two years later in 1915, it was printed in America. The collection was a great success, in part from the promotion and support of other famous poets of the time, including Henry Holt and Ezra Pound.
In 1915, Frost and his family moved back to the United States to a farm in New Hampshire. Not long after, Frost published a book of poetry called Mountain Interval and began touring for his fans.
Many of Frost’s poems were written in nature and about nature on the various farms he lived in throughout his life. In 1920 he purchased Stone House in Vermont and continued writing successful poetry. It was here where he wrote most of the poems published in his fourth collection of poetry, which won him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923. Included in this collection was perhaps his most famous poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
Frost won numerous awards for his collections of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1923, as well as again in 1931 for Collected Poems, in 1937 for A Further Range, as well as in 1943 for A Witness Tree. He also spoke at the inauguration of President John F Kennedy on January 20, 1961, where he recited his poem The Gift Outright.
Frost’s collections of poetry are numerous and include West Running Brook (1928), Collected Poems (1930), A Further Range (1936), Collected Poems (1939, again) A Witness Tree (1942), A Masque of Reason (play, 1945), Steeple Bush (1947), A Masque of Mercy (another play, 1947), Complete Poems (1949), and In the Clearing (1962).
Robert Frost was an American poet who wrote many well-known poems that are still revered today.