Robert Frost in 1949
Robert Frost was an American poet, born in San Francisco in 1874 and died in Boston in 1963.
He is best known for his colloquial approach to writing poetry, with the widely acclaimed ability to reach deeply into the human spirit, while maintaining an “everyday man’s” means of linguistic expression.
He was born in San Francisco, but spent much of his life living on a farm in New England, where he acquired an introspective, country-based viewpoint, with frequent references to nature and a person’s relationship with it. Frost worked the farm for nine years, while spending mornings writing much of his later-acclaimed poetry. The farm eventually turned out to be unsuccessful, and he became an English teacher at New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy, and at New Hampshire Normal School. His own education included stints at Dartmouth and Harvard Universities, but he never received a degree from either institute.
Robert Frost’s life was frequently marred by tragedy. His father died when he was 11, and his mother died 5 years later. He was married and had six children. Sadly, he outlived all but two of them, including his wife Elinor, who died in 1938. This helps to explain how many of his poems took a deep dive into human sadness and depression.
Robert Frost received many awards and accolades for his poetry, most notably four Pulitzer Prizes in 1924, 1931, 1937 and 1943. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1931, and the American Philosophical Society in 1937. In 1961, he was named Poet Laureate of Vermont by the state legislature. He won the Bollingen Prize in 1963. He was President John F. Kennedy’s favorite poet, and performed a poetry reading at Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. He is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest poets. Here are links to four of his most popular poems: