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Robert Frost:

Poet Laureate of the
Human Soul



Robert Frost was a poet who could capture the essence of human existence in all its raw splendor. While philosophers argued over the nature of the human soul, Frost was describing and defining.

The human soul is the central theme in many of Frost's poems. Unlike other poets of his time, Robert Frost did not shrink from every day mundane experience. Rather, many of his poems focus on the conflict and raw anguish of everyday life. He demonstrates themes of loss, fear, and other human emotions in all of his work.

Frost's poems were written in a variety of ways. He was proficient in using both free and rhymed verse. Many people compare his grasp of rhythm to that of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "Sentence - sounds" was the focus of much of his work. The sound of a sentence was more important to him than the actual sentence structure. It is for this reason that Frost's poems are so simple to read and flow right off the tongue.

Robert Frost lived a long and sometimes depressing life. He was forced to live through many family tragedies that would provide the background for his poems. Born on March 26, 1874 to Isabelle Moodie and William Prescott Frost Jr., Robert's home life was challenging. William Prescott's excessive drinking and gambling affected everyone in the family. After his death in 1885, the Frost family moved in with Robert's grandparents.

Robert went on to Lawrence High School, where he graduated at the top of his class. Only one year after this, his first poem, "La Noche Triste," was published. He was accepted into Harvard in 1891 and packed his bags, left home, and went to study. It was at Harvard where Frost met Elinor Miriam White, who would become his wife. They were engaged in 1892 and went on to have six children: Elliot, Lesley, Carol, Irma, Marjorie, and Elinor Bettina. Unfortunately, both Elliot and Elinor died before reaching infancy.

In 1912, Frost decided to move his family to England to start his writing career. This proved to be a wise choice because he had two of his books published there. A Boy's Will was released in 1913 and North of Boston in 1915. Afterwards, Frost moved back to New York and accepted a teaching position at Amherst College.

Frost taught at Amherst College off and on for a few years and started lecturing as he continued to write. He published Select Poems in 1923 and New Hampshire in 1924, which won him the Pulitzer Prize. In 1930 he was accepted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Throughout these successes, Frost was forced to face the fact that his daughter, Marjorie, was losing her mental health. After several doctor's visits and admissions into mental hospitals, Marjorie died from brain fever. The year was 1934. Four years later, his wife died of heart failure.

Despite his grief and deteriorating health, Robert Frost continued to write. In 1942, A Winter Tree won him his fourth Pulitzer Prize. Aforesaid followed in 1954.

Frost's career was epitomized by his appointment as poet laureate of Vermont in 1961. Two years later, he died from a pulmonary embolism after winning the Bollingen Prize for poetry.

Robert Frost lived a long and full life. His brilliant grasp of poetry immortalized him and his works. While he was alive, Frost refused to critique his own work, claiming it would cause him to change his style. Little did he know that his style would be imitated by poets fifty years after his death.





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