The mark of a great poet is his ability to engage the reader so that they analyse their own lives. Robert Lee Frost (1874 – 1963) – an influential American poet often associated with rural New England – is brilliant at this and uses poetry as a platform for the expression of his own general ideology. Frost’s belief that human society was often chaotic and stressful and that the meaning of life is elusive, has been promoted in his poetry. Frost looked to nature, whose undying beauty and simplicity did not force him into a strict, moulded society, but represented freedom from life and its constant stresses of family and work as a metaphor to show the stark comparison. This ideology derives from Frost’s childhood – where strict rules and punishments were a normal occurrence. When Frost’s first poem was published professionally to rave reviews, he devoted himself entirely to his art by moving to England – where a combination of the natural beauty of the English farm life, sole determination, and pure talent made him one of the most recognisable figures in American history – inspiring this anthology – “Robert Frost – Breaking the Walls.” Some of the famous poems included in this anthology consist of, “The Road Not Taken”, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”, “Mending Wall” and “After Apple Picking.”.
“The Road Not Taken” reflects Frost’s opinion that society is stressful, as the speaker agonizes over a life decision represented by the division of a road. “The Road Not Taken” involves ‘life’s choices’, and can be directly related to Frost’s own life and experiences. It begins with;” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” The yellow woods are the first example of where Robert Frost has used nature as a means of expressing his feelings. These first two lines set the pessimistic theme of the poem as they tell the audience that Frost is now at the autumn (near end) of his life, and that he has a very hard choice to make. When Frost stopped at the fork in the road he looked down both of the paths to help him make his choice, but he found the ends of the paths to be intangible. The nature metaphor – shrubbery – obscured his view from seeing the consequences of this decision. He becomes frustrated that he cannot find the meaning of life in nature – which he feels should hold the answers. The poem is a monologue of Frost’s life and as the p...
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...ke; “Of apple picking I am over-tired, of the great harvest myself desired”. He cannot find the meaning of his life, and it remains always elusive because, as humans we are confined only to look at the bad choices we have made, something that Robert Frost sees, looking toward nature instead to help make sense of it all.
Poetry is a lyrical way of expressing the writer’s deepest emotions and connecting with the reader, engaging the audience to internalise their own lives and find the meaning of life. Robert Frost became one of the greatest American poets because he was able to do this. His belief that human society was often chaotic and stressful and that the meaning of life is elusive, has been promoted in his poetry. He looked to the metaphor - nature, whose undying beauty and simplicity did not force him into a strict, moulded society, but represented freedom from life and its constant stresses of family and work. Robert Frost’s beliefs are reflected in the poems in this anthology, so read the following verse and find yourself questioning your own life and the meaning of it. Lose yourself in some of the best poems written by one of the best poets in the world.
– The Author
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