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A Full Life With Empty Barrels

Robert Lee Frost, legendary American poet whose poetry was written to be easily understood and reads similar to everyday speech, wrote several poems that are frequently recited and quoted. Frost’s arduous life is reflected in his poems; his poetry is both simple and complex. Frost uses deceptively simple strategies, imagery, metaphors, small details, nature, and traditional verse to convey feelings and intent, making him America’s most beloved and esteemed poet, both by the common man and the critics.

Robert Lee Frost’s poem “After Apple-Picking” reflects Frost’s life, his mistakes, regrets, and experiences, using a nostalgic tone. Frost, born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874, lived in California until he turned eleven, and his father died, which compelled his family to move to Lawrence, Massachusetts to live with his paternal grandparents. ” Because Frost is so intimately associated with rural New England, one tends to forget that the first landscape printed on his imagination was both urban and Californian.

That he came to appreciate, and to see in the maginative way a poet must see, the imagery of Vermont and New Hampshire has something to do with the anomaly of coming late to it. It’s as though he were dropped into the countryside north of Boston from outer space, and remained perpetually stunned by what he saw,” Robert Penn Warren observed. “I don’t think you can overemphasize that aspect of Frost. A native takes, or may take, a place for granted; if you have to earn your citizenship, your locality, it requires a special focus” (Parini 5).

Frost resided in pastoral New England for most of his adult life, and his laconic expression and focus on individualism embody the heart of this region. “An essentially pastoral poet often associated with rural New England, Frost wrote poems whose philosophical dimensions transcend any region ” (Biography 1). Many of Frost’s poems utilizes nature and are written in understandable language to express his admiration for the hard-working individual.

“Mr. Frost has dared to write and for the most part with success in the natural speech of New England; in natural spoken speech, which is very different from the “natural” speech of the newspapers, and of many professors” (Bloom 21). Frost had an extensive education. He was taught by his mother, “Frost received much of his early education at home, and his mother often read aloud from the works of Shakespeare, Poe, Emerson, and Wadsworth, as well as others” (Bloom 12). His early education while enhancing his love for the written word, did not lend itself to discipline and may have influenced him later in life.

Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892 co-validictorian, with his future wife Elinor White. Frost attended both Harvard and Dartmouth where his lack of discipline may have surfaced as he never earned a degree. Frost’s family life was immersed in tragedy and sorrow. ” Were it not for his father’s death, it is likely we would have never heard of Robert Frost, as it was only after his father’s death that he returned with his mother to New England where many of his future works would take root” (Biography 1).

Frost’s marriage was a source of strain and tension. “Elinor’s determination to finish college plus Frost’s jealousy of her intellectual accomplishments were the first signs of a friction that would shadow their life together from before their marriage until her death…. ” (Quartermain 96). Frost’s life was rife with personal tragedy. ” The Frost’s family life, often strained by emotional and financial anxieties, was marked by a series of tragedies.

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