Robert Frost Essay

Robert Frost Essay

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Robert Frost is undoubtedly one of the most prominent and well-respected poets in American history. With his characteristic simple writing style, and emphasis on the natural world, Frost wrote poetry that was understood by and appealed to all. In a similar fashion to 19th century romantic poets, Frost upheld the notion that poetry is "never a put-up job.... It begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness. It is never a thought to begin with. It is at its best when it is a tantalizing vagueness." That being said, Frost adopted a conversational tone for his poetry by writing his works in colloquial language, rather than with artificial poetic diction. Drawing from his preference for the vernacular, Frost often used the indefinite pronoun “something” in his poetry. Although a fairly common term, its relatively frequent use alongside Frost’s usually vivid and descriptive imagery make it a characteristic of his works worth exploring. Upon evaluation, it becomes evident that Frost’s most potent reason for the use of the word “something” is to infuse an element of doubt or uncertainty into his poetry. It is perhaps an instilled ambiguity that Frost describes as distinctive of good poetry – often found in his better works with a “tantalizing vagueness”.
Before drawing conclusions though, it is wise to explore all avenues of possible meaning with regard to Robert Frost’s use of the word “something”. An important aspect to realize is that Frost raised concerns over readers’ far-fetched assumptions in their understanding of his poetry. According to Frost, "The objective idea [was all he] ever cared about. Most of [his] ideas [occurred] in verse.... To be too subjective with what an artist has managed to mak...


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...hing” is possibly just a careful play with diction - a medium for infusing the complexity and abstruseness into his poetry that is required to provoke such contemplation and search for meaning.
As concluded from analyzing three of Frost’s works for diction, it is difficult to stamp on the precise meaning and reason for the use of “something” in his poetry. Frost was highly unlikely to have used the word something in a mindful and deliberate fashion. However, the word does have a distinct purpose, and is possibly representative of a particular ambivalent emotion or experience to Frost. What is most concrete, though, is the fact that “something” infuses an element of uncertainty to Frost’s poetry, which is integral to the mood he wishes to convey, and an inevitable actuality in his outlook of human life.



Works Cited

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/robert-frost

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