Born on March 26, 1874, Robert Frost spent his first 40 years as an unknown. He exploded on the scene after returning from England at the beginning of WWI. Winner of four Pulitzer Prizes and a special guest at President John F. Kennedyâ€™s inauguration, Frost became a poetic force and the unofficial "poet laureate" of the United States. He died of complications from prostate surgery on January 29, 1963.
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California. He spent the first 12 years of his life there, until his father, William Prescott Frost Jr., died of tuberculosis. Following his father's passing, Frost moved with his mother and sister Jeanie to the town of Lawrence, ...view middle of the document...
Though it was a fruitful time for Frost's writing, it was a difficult period in his personal life.
Elinor gave birth to four more children, Carol (1902); Irma (1903), who later developed mental illness; Marjorie (1905); and Elinor (1907), and 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. Additionally, during that time, Frost and Elinor tried several endeavors, including poultry farming, all of which were fairly unsuccessful.
Despite such challenges, it was during this time that Frost acclimated himself to rural life. In fact, he grew to depict it quite well, and began setting many poems in the countryside. While two of these, "The Tuft of Flowers" and "The Trial by Existence," would be published in 1906, he could not find any publishers who were willing to underwrite his other poems.
Public Recognition for Poetry
In 1912, Frost and Elinor decided to sell the farm in New Hampshire and move the family to England, where more publishers would be willing to take a chance on new poets, they believed.
Within just a few months, Frost, now 38, found a publisher who would publish his first book of poems, A Boyâ€™s Will, followed by North of Boston a year later. It was at this time that Frost met Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas, two men who would affect his life in significant ways.
Pound and Thomas were the first to review his work in a favorable light, as well as provide significant encouragement. Frost credited Thomas's long walks over the English landscape as the inspiration for one of his most famous poems, "The Road Not Taken." Apparently, Thomas's indecision and regret regarding what path to take inspired Frost's work. The time Frost spent in 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.
When Frost arrived back home, his reputation had preceded him, and he was well-received by the publishing world. His publisher, Henry Holt, who would remain with him for the rest of his life, had purchased all of the copies of North of Boston, and in 1916, he published Frost's...