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Research Paper on Robert Frost: The Legendary Poet of The 20th Century

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Words: 1352 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Words: 1352|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Robert Frost is among the most famous American poets of the 20th century, and arguably the most well-known American poet of all time. His various life experiences affected his poetry, and he is remembered well today. “For thousands he remains the only recent poet worth reading and the only one who matters.”

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Robert Frost was born on March 26th, 1874 to William Frost Jr. and Belle Frost, in San Francisco. The family did not stay here very long, however. For most of his childhood, the Frosts lived in New England. Although his father graduated from Harvard, he was an alcoholic. His mother was a teacher. He had one younger sister named Jeanie.

William and Belle were separated for part of Frost’s childhood. After they got back together, his father soon died of tuberculosis. After the family paid all their bills, they were left with $8. His mother had to support the family, and Frost later started to take odd jobs whenever he could.

Young Robert was originally homeschooled, but later went to middle school. At first, he was an average student, and was known for playing pranks at school. However, after reading his first book, The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter, he became a better student. He passed the entrance exam for high school. Meanwhile, his sister began to develop symptoms of what we now call Bipolar Disorder.

In high school, Frost was a loner and only had one friend, Carl Burell. He started preparing for the Harvard Admissions Test by translating Latin poetry to English. He soon became the editor of the high school newspaper and worked his way up to become class valedictorian. After graduation, he fell in love with Elinor White, with whom he competed to become class valedictorian. They got engaged the summer after graduation. Frost entered Dartmouth College, but left before the semester was over. It is unclear whether he was expelled or left of his own accord.

While taking odd jobs, Frost received a letter from Elinor stating their engagement was broken. Around this time, he wrote his first poem, My Butterfly. After begging newspapers and magazines to publish it, it was finally published in a national journal, The Independent, and later in his first book, A Boy’s Will. It seemed to focus on his breakup with White. He also tried to commit suicide by entering a dangerous swamp, but was rescued by duck hunters. He made up with Elinor a few months later, and the two soon got married.

The next year, the Frosts had their first child, Elliot. Sadly, Elliot died in infancy, and Elinor went into depression. The couple soon moved to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire. Although none of his attempts at farming worked out, it would influence his later poetry. The family started to grow as the couple had more children, and Frost decided to go back to school in hope that a better education would mean better income. He was accepted to Harvard, but soon left. The family decided to move to England for a year to see if Frost’s writing career would work out better there.

While living in the English countryside, Frost started to write his first book of poetry. After finishing a draft, he traveled to London to find a publisher. After some negotiation, he got a deal with David Nutt Publishing. Frost met many other poets while in England, all of whom agreed to review A Boy’s Will. These poets included F.S. Flint, Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, and Edward Thomas. Most agree that Thomas was Frost’s closest friend. Frost’s next book, North of Boston, got critical reviews at first, but later became one of Frost’s best-selling books. It was famous for Mending Wall and Home Burial, two of Frost’s most famous poems.

Walks with his friend Edward Thomas inspired one of his most famous poems, The Road Not Taken. This poem opened his third book of poetry, Mountain Interval. Another famous poem of this book was Out, Out-. That summer, WWI broke out. Elinor urged Frost to leave, but he waited until he received word that North of Boston was being published in America. He then decided to go home, and luckily, they didn’t run into any problems getting out.

After arriving in America, he found himself already in the spotlight. “He became a national celebrity, our nearly official poet laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular.” When he visited Henry Holt Publishing, the publisher that published North of Boston in America, the secretary handed him a check of $40, worth almost $1000 today. He stuck with this publisher for the rest of his career and ended his contract with David Nutt Publishing. He was soon invited to four private schools to give public readings of his poems, and bought a farmhouse in New Hampshire.

Frost’s fame continued to grow as he continued to write more poetry. He accepted a job at Amherst College, but quit two years later. He became a visiting fellow at the University of Michigan. He did not have to teach here and therefore had more time to write. Frost won his first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his next volume of poetry, New Hampshire. This book included Fire and Ice, For Once, Then, Something, and Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, more of Frost’s most famous poems.

Frost switched between University of Michigan and Amherst many times. He went back to Amherst, then accepted a lifelong fellowship at U of M. He disliked this because he had no time to write, and quickly accepted another job at Amherst. Unfortunately, Frost’s next book, West-Running Brook, received mixed reviews. Only one poem in this book, Acquainted with the Night, is well known.

However, once Frost’s next book, Collected Poems of Robert Frost, was published, his rollercoaster of a career took a turn for the better. It won him a second Pulitzer Prize. He wrote his next book, A Further Range. After some good reviews, he won a third Pulitzer Prize. At this point, he became the bestselling American author.

These triumphs were short-lived however. Soon, his sister’s mental condition deteriorated, and he had her admitted to a mental hospital. His wife died of a heart attack, and he stayed with his son for a while. After he left, his son committed suicide.

Frost started gathering poems for his next book and accepted a position at Dartmouth. His next book, A Witness Tree, won him his fourth Pulitzer Prize, although many judges were against him winning for the fourth time. This book included The Gift Outright, which discusses the concept of westward expansion and manifest destiny, referring to the west as a gift from God.

Frost soon wrote his next book, Steeple Bush. He also accepted the position of “Lecturer in Literature” at Amherst. A compilation of his best poems, The Complete Poems of Robert Frost, was soon published, and Frost’s fame grew. He was invited to Brazil to attend the “World Congress of Writers”. Later, he flew to England to attend the unveiling of a museum exhibit focused on his life. While here, he met British writers and received honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. Frost was later invited to give a public reading of a new poem at JFK’s inauguration. He didn’t have time to memorize it, so he decided to read it. However, he couldn’t get past the second line because of the glare of the sunlight. He decided to recite The Gift Outright from memory.

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In December of 1963, Frost was diagnosed with prostate surgery and underwent surgery. After the surgery, he nearly died of a heart attack. The next month, he won the Bollingen Prize for his very last volume of poetry, In the Clearing. On January 27th, 1963, he died of a blood clot in his lungs. Congress awarded him a medal 'in recognition of his poetry, which has enriched the culture of the United States and the philosophy of the world.' His legacy has lived on for decades, and will live on for generations to come.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Research Paper on Robert Frost: the Legendary Poet of the 20th Century. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/research-paper-on-robert-frost-the-legendary-poet-of-the-20th-century/
“Research Paper on Robert Frost: the Legendary Poet of the 20th Century.” GradesFixer, 10 Dec. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/research-paper-on-robert-frost-the-legendary-poet-of-the-20th-century/
Research Paper on Robert Frost: the Legendary Poet of the 20th Century. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/research-paper-on-robert-frost-the-legendary-poet-of-the-20th-century/> [Accessed 18 May 2024].
Research Paper on Robert Frost: the Legendary Poet of the 20th Century [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Dec 10 [cited 2024 May 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/research-paper-on-robert-frost-the-legendary-poet-of-the-20th-century/
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