Robert Frost

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Robert Frost
Robert Frost

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874January 29, 1963) was an American poet. Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes.



Although associated with New England, Frost was born in San Francisco to Isabelle Moodie, of Scottish birth, and William Prescott Frost, Jr., a descendant of a Devonshire Frost who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634. The father was a former teacher turned newspaper man, a hard drinker, a gambler, and a harsh disciplinarian, who fought to succeed in politics for as long as his health allowed. Frost lived in California until he was 11. After the death of his father, he moved with his mother and sister to eastern Massachusetts near his paternal grandparents. He grew up a city boy and published his first poem in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College where he was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, and from 1897 to 1899, Harvard University where he studied Philology but he did not complete the degree. Eventually, after purchasing a farm in Derry, New Hampshire, he became known for his wry voice that was both rural and personal.

Frost was married to Elinor Miriam White and they had four children. In March, 1894, The Independent published Frost's poem "My Butterfly: An Elegy", his first published work which brought him $15. At this time, Robert made an important decision: he decided to devote his time to poetry instead of teaching. Robert wanted to move to Vancouver, his wife to England; a coin toss selected England.

So in 1912 Robert sold his farm and moved to England to become a full-time poet. His first book of poetry, A Boy's Will, was published the next year. In England he made some crucial contacts including T.E. Hulme, Edward Thomas (a Welsh writer whom Frost persuaded to turn from prose to poetry), and Ezra Pound, who was the first American to write a (favourable) review of Frost's work. Frost returned to America in 1915, bought a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire and launched a career of writing, teaching and lecturing. From 1916 to 1938, he was an English professor at Amherst College.

He recited his work, "The Gift Outright", at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and represented the United States on several official missions. He also became known for poems that include an interplay of voices, such as "Death of the Hired Man". American schoolchildren often memorize his poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Other highly acclaimed poems include "Mending Wall", "Birches", "After Apple Picking", "The Pasture", "Fire and Ice", "The Road Not Taken", and "Directive".

On his death on January 29, 1963, Robert Frost was buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery, in Bennington, Vermont. Harvard's 1965 alumni directory indicates his having received an honorary degree. During his later years he spent summers in Ripton, Vermont and participated in the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference at Middlebury College. During his life, the Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, Maryland and the main library of Amherst College were named after him.


  • 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


  • "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it."
  • "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down." - "Mending Wall"
  • "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
  • "A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age."
  • "Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." - "Death of the Hired Man"
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