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Robert Frost Biography

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Shalom Chen

on 3 May 2013

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Transcript of Robert Frost Biography

A Biography and Analysis Robert Frost Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California. His father, William Prescott Frost Jr. was a journalist and his mother was Isabelle Moodie. He also had a younger sister named Jeanie. He studied in Lawrence High School, and graduated in 1892. He then went on to attend Dartmouth University for several months, returning home to work many unfulfilling jobs. In 1894, he had his first poem, "My Butterfly: an Elegy," published in The Independent, a weekly literary journal based in New York City. Early Years After that success, he proposed to Elinor, but she turned him down because she first wanted to finish school. Frost then decided to leave on a trip to Virginia, and when he returned, he proposed again. She had graduated from college, and she accepted.
They married on December 19, 1895, and had their first child, Elliot in 1896. In 1897, Frost attended Harvard University, but had to drop out after two years due to health concerns. He then returned to Lawrence, and they had a second child, Lesley. In 1900, Frost moved with his wife and children to a farm in New Hampshire, where they would stay for the next 12 years. They had four more children, Carol (1902); Irma (1903), who later developed mental illness; Marjorie (1905); and Elinor (1907).
Two of the Frost children died. Elliot died of cholera in 1900, and Elinor died of complications from birth just weeks after she was born.
During that time, Frost and Elinor tried several endeavours, including poultry farming, all of which were fairly unsuccessful. 1912, Frost and Elinor decided to sell the farm in New Hampshire and move the family to England, where they believed more publishers would be willing to take a chance on new poets.
Within just a few months, Frost, now 38, found a publisher who would publish his first book of poems, "A Boy’s Will", followed by "North of Boston" a year later.
Frost's inspiration forone of his most famous poems, "The Road Not Taken" was Edward Thomas.
England was one of the most significant periods in his life, but it was short-lived. WWI broke out in 1914, and Frost and Elinor returned to America early in 1915 His publisher, Henry Holt had purchased all of the copies of "North of Boston", and in 1916, he published Frost's "Mountain Interval", a collection of other works that he created while in England, including a tribute to Thomas. Publishers such as the Atlantic Monthly, who had turned Frost down when he submitted work earlier, came calling. Frost famously sent the Monthly the same poems that they had rejected before his stay in England.

In 1916, Frost and Elinor settled down on a farm that they purchased in Franconia, New Hampshire.
There he had his long career as a teacher at several colleges, reciting poetry to eager crowds and writing all the while.
He taught at Dartmouth University, University of Michigan, Amherst College and Middlebury College.
He has received more than 40 honorary degrees during his lifetime. In 1924, he received his first of four Pulitzer Prizes for his book "New Hampshire". He would subsequently win his other Pulitzers for "Collected Poems" (1931), "Further Range" (1937) and "A Witness Tree" (1943).
In 1962, Frost visited the Soviet Union on a goodwill tour. That same year, Congress awarded Frost the Congressional Gold Medal. Teaching and Poetry Career Marriage Children England In 1961, at the age of 86, Frost was asked to write and recite a poem for President John F. Kennedy's inauguration.
On January 29, 1963, Frost died from complications related to prostate surgery. Died in Boston, Massachusetts
His ashes are interred in a family plot in Bennington, Vermont Death A Question

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth. The theme of the poem is life and suffering. Though the entire poem does not mention the word 'life', I interpret that this poem is asking if life is worth it, because of all the pain we humans go through in our lives. The topic is therefore, life and suffering. Theme He uses words with symbolism, and is descriptive too. He chains words so powerfully together that they represent things much more profound than they mean. For example, the last two lines; “If all the soul-and-body scars were not too much to pay for birth”. I really love these two lines because it is probably one of the hardest questions to answer in the world. I'm not sure if any of us could give an honest answer till the end of our lives. Actually, we might not have an answer even in our death.
By hyphenating, Frost makes a single category of sufferings that are usually considered separately; soul-and-body scars. All the pain you have ever received; whether it is physical or emotional; may just be too much a price to pay for the joys in life. Or is it? Its left for the reader to make their own interpretation of it, and give an answer.
Also, when he says “were not to much to pay for birth”, he means “not too heavy a price to pay for life”. That is symbolism, with birth representing life. Use of Language The poet uses a very simple ABAB rhyme pattern with only 4 lines in the poem. It is rhythmic too. All four lines have the same number of syllables. Style
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