Robert Frost

Robert Frost, four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a Poet Laureate of the United States (from 1958-1959), was a traditional poet who often used form and meter in his poetry while integrating aspects of colloquial American speech into his verse.

Photo: Robert Frost, 1959, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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About

Born in California, Frost moved to Massachusetts in 1885 with his family upon the death of his father. Frost’s grandfather was the overseer of a New England mill, and Frost grew up in the city of Lawrence. He studied at Dartmouth College briefly, then attended Harvard and married Elinor Miriam White.

Because of his growing family, Frost left Harvard and moved his family to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire. For several years, Frost worked on the farm and wrote early in the morning. In 1912, after teaching English in New Hampshire for a five years, Frost and his family moved to England, where he befriended Ezra Pound. His first volume of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1913. When World War I began in 1915, he returned to America.

Throughout his life, Frost held several jobs at colleges and universities, including Amherst College and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He was instrumental in establishing the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont. Frost was awarded over 40 honorary degrees. Two years after performing a reading of his poem at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, Frost died of prostate cancer.

Frost’s poetic voice is uniquely important to American literature. On the surface, his poems may seem charming and nostalgic, in love with nature and life. However, most of his poems also reveal a dark, pessimistic side as well. Despite several tragedies in his personal life, Frost was committed to objectivity in the writing of poetry, and the use of 19th century forms and meter helped him to accomplish this goal.

–Christie Finn

Related Information

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The Poetry of Robert Frost

By Robert Frost

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    Sheet Music

    28 Songs by American and British Composers

    Composer(s): John Duke

    Song(s): Barber: Must the Winter Come so Soon?
    Bernstein: Two Love Songs (Extinguish My Eyes, When My Soul Touches Yours)
    Bowles: Heavenly Grass
    Carpenter: When I Bring to You Colour'd Toys
    Corigliano: Christmas at the Cloisters, The Unicorn
    Dougherty: Sound the Flute!
    Duke: Peggy Mitchell
    Hoiby: An Immorality
    Moore: The Dove Song (The Wings of the Dove)
    Sargent: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Thomson: English Usage, The Tiger
    Vaughan Williams: Hugh's Song of the Road
    Wells: Everyone Sang

    Buy via Sheet Music Plus

    "Acquainted With the Night"

    Composer(s): John Duke

    Buy via Sheet Music Plus

    Evidence of Things Not Seen

    Composer(s): Ned Rorem

    Buy via Boosey & Hawkes

    Songs by 22 Americans

    Composer(s): Samuel Barber
    Leonard Bernstein
    Paul Bowles
    John Alden Carpenter
    Celius Dougherty
    John Duke
    Charles Tomlinson Griffes
    Richard Hageman
    Charles Naginski
    William Roy
    Gladys Rich
    Virgil Thomson
    Elinor Remick Warren

    Voice Type: High

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    Songs By John Duke, Vol. 1

    Composer(s): John Duke

    Song(s): 1. When the Rose Is Brightest (Nathaniel Parker Willis)
    2. Stopping by Woods on а Snowy Evening (Robert Frost)
    3. The Puritan's Ballad (Elinor Wylie)
    4. Midcentury Love Letter (Phyllis McGinley)
    5. All Beauty Calls You to Me (Sara Teasdale)
    6. Listen, I Love You (Sara Teasdale)
    7. I am so weak а Thing (Sara Teasdale)
    8. All Things in the World Can Rest, But I (Sara Teasdale)
    9. Oh, My Love (Sara Teasdale)
    10. Renouncement (Alice Meynell)
    11. Noonday (Traditional Chinese)
    12. Through Your Window (Traditional Chinese)
    13. The Shoreless Sea (Traditional Chinese)
    14. New Feet within My Garden Go (Emily Dickinson)
    15. The Rose did Caper on Her Cheek (Emily Dickinson)
    16. Have You Got а Brook in Your Little Heart? (Emily Dickinson)
    17. I Taste а Liquor Never Brewed (Emily Dickinson)
    18. The Better Part (George Santayana)

    Voice Type: High

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