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An Assessment of the Poetry of Robert Frost

Nature is beautiful in every aspect, but as nature changes with every season, beauty and innocence in human life is much the same as the years progress. Robert Lee Frost uses nature in such a profound approach; every aspect of nature can someway correlate with any characteristic of life. Whether it is the beauty in nature signifying the joy and happiness that every person experiences, or it be the traumatic losses and disappointments that may lead to ultimate failure or destruction, Robert Frost illustrates life, love and loss in the most natural and beautiful way feasible.

His style is uniquely his own, and his themes are ones that many people can relate to on countless levels, which is what made Frost so popular during his lifetime, and has continued four decades after his death. Robert Frost was born March 26 1874 in San Francisco where he spent the first eleven years of his life until his father died. It was then that he moved with his family to Lawrence, Massachusetts. While in high school in Lawrence, Frost fell in love with Elinor White, they became engaged and married in 1896 (the same year that their son Elliott was born).

After withdrawing from Harvard in 1897, the Frosts moved to a farm in Methuen, Massachusetts, and began raising poultry. Three years later Elliott died, along with Frosts mother. Frost and his family then bought a farm in Derry, where they settled down, and Frost began writing. Robert and Elinor Frost had three more children before losing another infant in 1907. In 1912, Frost became irritated with his failure at success, and moved his family to England.

This move proved to be successful when Frosts first book A Boys Will was published in 1913, followed by North of Boston in 1914; both books appeared in the United States as well by the time that the Frost family returned in 1915. In 1938 Frost lost his wife to illness. New Hampshire garnered Frost the first of his unmatched four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry, followed by Frost’s Collected Poems in 1930, A Further Range in 1936, and A Witness Tree in 1942.

Frosts crowning public moment was his recitation of “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in January of 1960. He died on January 29, 1963. Robert Frost lived a very long and often tragic life. He suffered unreasonable guilt, and blamed himself for everything that went wrong. Robert Frost loved his family, and did everything in his power to protect them. At times, he suffered depression; he lost so many of the people he loved. He was a man who aspired to find truth in ordinary things and tell the truth in an eloquent but reserved way. Frost wrote many of his best poems on several levels of meaning.

He describes a natural setting with beautiful seasonal imagery, and he connects this to human beings. There is a literal meaning and there is a deeper more profound meaning. Although Frost concentrates on ordinary subject matter, he evokes a wide range of emotions, and his poems often shift dramatically from humorous tones to tragic ones. Much of his poetry is concerned with how people interact with their environment, and though he saw the beauty of nature, he also saw its potential dangers.

He often wrote in the standard meter of blank verse, but ran sentences over several lines so that the poetic meter plays subtly under the rhythms of natural speech. The first lines of “Birches” illustrate this distinctive approach to rhythm: “When I see birches bend to left and right/ Across the lines of straighter darker trees,/ I like to think some boys been swinging them. In the decades when Robert Frost became popular, his poetry was considered incredibly untraditional in relation to some of his contemporaries. With his style being ordinary, it makes it easier for many people to relate to his work.

Frosts works were and still are particularly well liked by “ordinary” readers because his works are easy to read and, on the surface, easy to understand. In the book A Boys Will, Frost writes poems of hope and beauty. “Love and a Question,” illustrates the optimistic view of a bridegroom trying to help a poor man. He thinks that he should help him, but not knowing if he can. His heart shows compassion but his minds shows logic. The conclusion of this poem shows not true ending, but leaves the reader in a state of imagining what was to happen to the poor man.

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