Robert Frost BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION • Robert Frost (1874 - 1963) • Category: American Literature Born: March 26, 1874 San Francisco, California, United States Died: January 29, 1963 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Biography(1) • Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, but never earned a formal degree. Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first professional poem, "My Butterfly," was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent. Biography(2) • In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed, and it was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work. By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will and North of Boston, and his reputation was established. By the nineteen- twenties, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (1923), A Further Range (1936), Steeple Bush (1947), and In the Clearing (1962)—his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased. Biography(3) • Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England, and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time, Frost is anything but a merely regional or minor poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony. Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died on January 29, 1963, in Boston. LIFE STORIES(1) • 8/1/1915 • Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken“ On this day in 1915 Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" was first published in the Atlantic Monthly. This was just as Frost had returned to America from England, to farm and become famous: "There is room for only one person at the top of the steeple," he would say, "and I always meant that person to be me." Later misfortunes would make him punished and sorry for his choice. LIFE STORIES(2) • 11/6/1894 • Robert Frost in the Dismal Swamp On this day in 1894 twenty-year-old Robert Frost departed for the Dismal Swamp on the Virginia-North Carolina border. He was poor, jobless, unpublished, expelled from Dartmouth College and recently spurned by his high school sweetheart. Adding it all up, Frost packed a small bag, took a train to New York, a steamer to Virginia, and began walking into a soggy heart of darkness. LIFE STORIES(3) • 11/15/1923 • Robert Frost, Farmer-Poet Robert Frost returned to America in 1915 with two hopes. One was that, given ambition of "astonishing magnitude," he might build at home upon the reputation he had earned abroad for his first two books of poetry. The other hope was to find "a farm in New England where I could live cheap and get Yankier and Yankier." Both hopes were realized, though Frost would later regret that the farmer lost out to the poet. Robert Frost Stone House Museum • A new museum, only minutes away from Frost's gravesite in Bennington, was opened in 2002 to honor America's favorite poet. Frost lived in the Stone House in South Shaftsbury, Vermont from 1920 to 1929. Here, Frost composed many of the pieces that became part of his first Pulitzer Prize winning volume New Hampshire, published in 1923, including "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." • Built C. 1769, the house was considered historic before the Frost period. It is a rare example of colonial architecture made of native stone and timber. It has changed little since Frost's time and remains in excellent condition. The house sits on 7 acres and features many Frostian associations including stone walls, birch trees, a timbered barn and some of Frost's original apple trees. Many poignant episodes in Frost's life happened Major Poetry • A Boy's Will (1913) North of Boston (1914) Mountain Interval (1916) New Hampshire (1923) West-Running Brook (1928) The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (1929) The Lone Striker (1933) A Further Range (1936) From Snow to Snow (1936) A Witness Tree (1942) Come In, and Other Poems (1943) Masque of Reason (1945) Steeple Bush (1947) Hard Not to be King (1951) A SOLDIER • He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled, That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust, But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust. If we who sight along it round the world, See nothing worthy to have been its mark, It is because like men we look too near, Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere, Our missiles always make too short an arc. They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect The curve of earth, and striking, break their own; They make us cringe for metal-point on stone. But this we know, the obstacle that checked And tripped the body, shot the spirit on Further than target ever showed or shone. ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT • I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. • I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, • But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, O luminary clock against the sky • Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night. Quotations by Author • A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer. • A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence. • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. • Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. • I'm against a homogenized society, because I want the cream to rise. • Love is an irresistable desire to be irresistably desired. • The best way out is always through. • The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office. • The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.