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Robert Frost

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Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874-1963) was one of the finest of rural New England's 20th century pastoral poets. Frost published his first books in Great Britain in the 1910s, but he soon became in his own country the most read and constantly anthologized poet. Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize four times.

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. His father, a journalist and local politician, died when Frost was eleven years old. His Scottish mother resumed her career as a schoolteacher to support her family. The family lived in Lawrence, Massachusetts, with Frost's paternal grandfather. In 1892 Frost graduated from a high school and attended Dartmouth College for a few months. Over the next ten years he held a number of jobs.

In 1894 the New York Independent published Frost's poem "My Butterfly" and he had five poems privately printed. In 1895 he married a former schoolmate, Elinor White; they had six children. Frost worked as a teacher and continued to write and publish his poems in magazines. From 1897 to 1899 Frost studied at Harvard, but left without receiving a degree. He moved to Derry, New Hampshire, working there as a cobbler, farmer, and teacher at Pinkerton Academy and at the state normal school in Plymouth.

In 1912 Frost sold his farm and took his wife and four young children to England. There he published his first collection of poems, “A Boy’s Will” (1913) followed by “North Boston” (1914), which gained international reputation. The collection contains some of Frost's best-known poems: "Mending Wall," "The Death of the Hired Man," "Home Burial," "After Apple-Picking," and "The Wood-Pile."

After returning to the US in 1915 with his family, Frost bought a farm near Franconia, New Hampshire. He taught later at Amherst College (1916-38) and Michigan universities. In 1916 Frost was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In the same year appeared his third collection of verse, “Mountain Interval”, which contained such poems as "The Road Not Taken," "Birches," and "The Hill Wife." Frost's images - woods, stars, houses, brooks, - are usually taken from everyday life. With his down-to-earth approach to his subjects, readers found it easy to follow the poet into deeper truths, without being burdened with pedantry.

In 1920 Frost purchased a farm in South Shaftsbury, Vermont, near Middlebury College. His wife died in 1938 and he lost four of his children.
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