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AS and A Level: Robert Frost
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Writing about context in Robert Frost's poetry
- 1 Frost’s poetry spans the first half of the 20th century and is considered by some to combine 19th century American tradition with 20th century modernism.
- 2 Frost believed that writing in free verse was like ‘playing tennis without a net.'
- 3 His poems are not experimental in form or technique, but infuse traditional structures with modern idiom and the rhythms of speech.
- 4 Many of Frost’s poems are dramatic monologues, conveying a strong sense of ‘voice’.
- 5 Frost referred to poetry as a ‘refrigeration technique’ which ‘stops language from going bad’.
Themes in Frost's work
- 1 Frost often addresses the theme of loneliness and isolation. His narrators are invariably alone, trapped in nostalgic reflection, debating their ‘promises’ or duties to others and assessing the significance of structures which exist to impose boundaries and borders between individuals.
- 2 Frost makes strong use of the environment to reflect on the inner state of his narrators or express the relationship between characters.
- 3 Consider the use of paths, woods, walls to reflect symbolically on destiny.
- 4 Similarly, Frost makes strong references to the sea, darkness, snow as more abstract symbols of death and unknowingness.
- 5 Dramatic monologues often serve to reinforce the distance and isolation between the ‘voice’ and those about him.
Poetic techniques used by Frost
- 1 Frost adheres to regular rhythms but makes more erratic use of rhyme. When identifying these, be sure to comment on how these inform and shape the meanings of the poem.
- 2 Interestingly, it is also useful to look at exceptions, which break up the regularity of the rhythm and draw attention to particular moments in the poem.
- 3 Frost is generally praised for emulating the natural sounds of speech and thought in his poetry: look for evidence of varying sentence lengths, repetition, inversion, colloquialism, parenthesis, hyphenation and pausing (caesura).
- 4 Avoid confusing the narrator of the poems with Frost himself, however closely the content resembles his life. Refer to the voice as the ‘narrator’ or ‘persona’.
- 5 Frost’s language is often simple, earthy and prosaic, reflecting a vernacular in keeping with his New England identity. Consider the ways in which this informs our interpretation of his poetry.
- Marked by Teachers essays 3
- Peer Reviewed essays 1
It looks into the choices that people make and uses the metaphor of two roads in order to show this. He acknowledges that he is unable to travel down both "I could not travel both", so is forced to travel one. He chooses to take the one that is less travelled by "I took the one less travelled by" and by doing so decides to seize the day and express himself as an individual, claiming that his life was fundamentally different than it would have been had he chosen the more well travelled path.
- Word count: 2621
This shows that Frost's poem about a neighbour who insists on having a wall between his property and the next is simply a metaphor for the walls and barriers that we set in society. This commentary will explain some of the techniques that Frost uses and also the ideas which he wished to convey in his poem "Mending Wall". The title "Mending Wall" has aroused many questions for critics; what did Frost mean by calling his poem "Mending Wall"? Some say that it is a personification of the wall; others say that it is the name of the annual process of rebuilding the wall.
- Word count: 2134
Finally, Dead Poets Society touches on finding one's voice and doing what one believes is right. However, Dead Poets Society is not the only place these lessons are shown. They are also displayed in numerous poems and quotations, which only emphasizes their importance. 'To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time', written by Robert Herrick, a quotation from Henry Thoreau, 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost, and the "Carpe Diem- Seize the Day" are only a few examples. 'To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time' by Robert Herrick is about using one's lifetime well and following one's dreams while we are still young.
- Word count: 2180
Which shows her determination to survive the regime, and how it would never make her stop writing her poetry. Irina Ratushinskaya has written many poems, most of which portray her will to survive and also the torture she went through in the camp. Two examples of her poetry that show this well are, 'I will Travel Through the land' and 'I will Live and Survive'. These two poems are different as they explain different aspects of being in a labour camp, however they both depict suffering and focus on some of the same themes. In 'I will Travel Trough the Land', Irina Ratushinskaya uses her emotions to tell the reader about getting moved from one labour camp to another.
- Word count: 2169
Robert Frost Selected Poems - 'The Road Not Taken' and 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' - Analysis and Appreciation
However, they mainly concentrate on conveying a much deeper, more intense message. The teachings of Robert Frost are often very emotional. I very much enjoy reading his poems and trying to interpret their true meanings. I found that writing this essay made me understand the poems that I had already read many times even more clearly. 'The Road Not Taken' is a very thoughtful and meaningful poem. The traditional but experimental and unique verses attract readers to the poem, as they are different from other poems.
- Word count: 2530
After cleaning the 'pasture spring' he considers waiting 'to watch the water clear', this can be interpreted in different ways. Perhaps he wanted to make sure he had done the job properly, or it could be that he takes delight in watching the waters clear and wants to wait watch 'it clear' or perhaps it could be simply that he wants the moment to last, as he enjoys it so. In life I generally find that things I do not enjoy drag on and on, seemingly taking longer that they actually are, yet things that I enjoy seem to go faster.
- Word count: 2215
Born to Isabelle Moodie and William Frescott Frost Jr on March 26 1874. During his childhood he didn't attend school, however he was taught by his mother during the first ten years of his life. He began to attend school during the fifth grade at the same time that his mother was teaching his class. He enjoyed school and soon entered Lawrence High school, where his talent was soon discovered and he published his first poem in the high school bulletin in April of 1890. Robert Frost's talent helped him start a job as a reporter for his high school from which he married Elinor White who just like him was also the valedictorian at their graduation.
- Word count: 2193