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The Life and Influence of Robert Frost

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The Life and Influence of Robert Lee Frost Poet Robert Lee Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, California, to Isabelle Moodie Frost and William Prescott Frost. William Frost, a Harvard-educated journalist, worked for a San Francisco newspaper and was a delegate to Democratic National Convention of 1880. His poor health, violence, drinking, and gambling upset any possibility of family stability. Isabelle Frost, daughter of a Scottish sea captain, moved to America at age twelve. She was a follower of the Swedenborgian religion and instructed Frost in its beliefs. Frost received much of his early education at home, as his mother read aloud from the works of Shakespeare, Poe, Emerson, and Wordsworth. (Bloom 12) After his father's death from tuberculosis in 1885, Frost moved with his mother and sister to New England, where they settled in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Attending Lawrence High School, Frost published several poems in the school magazine and was named class poet. ...read more.


In the early years of their marriage, Frost pursued his dream and attended Harvard; however, he soon withdrew and took up a career in poultry farming to support his growing family. The Frost's family life, often strained by emotional and financial anxiety, was marked by a series of unfortunate events. Their first child, Elliott, died of cholera at age three. Another child, Elinor Bettina, died two days after birth. Of the four children who lived to adulthood, Frost's daughter Marjorie died of childbed fever at age twenty-nine, and his son Carol committed suicide at age thirty-eight. Another daughter, Irma, had to be institutionalized for mental illness. (Bloom 12) In the busy years of family responsibilities between 1900-1912, Frost pursued farming and teaching, trying to fit in the time to write poetry, often at night at the kitchen table. Living on a farm in Derry, New Hampshire, Frost published stories and articles in the Eastern Poultryman. ...read more.


He held many position at colleges such as, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Michigan. (Bloom 13) In the course of his lifetime, Frost was recognized with more than seventeen honorary degrees from prestigious universities in the United States and England. He continued to write books of poetry, receiving the Pulitzer Prize an unprecedented four times, for New Hampshire in 1924, Collected Poems in 1931, A Further Range in 1937, and A Witness Tree in 1943. (French 157) Late in life, Frost led a career as a cultural emissary and public personage, touring South America, Europe, and the Middle East. In 1961, he read The Gift Outright at President John Kennedy's inauguration; His seventy-fifth and eighty-fifth birthday were even recognized by commendation from the United Stated Senate. (Bloom 14) When Frost died on January 29, 1963, at the age of eighty-eight, he was the most popular and famous American poet of the century, a cultural icon, and an esteemed literary figure with great influence. (Costello 542) Critics continue to be devoted to the skill, eloquence, and power of his poetry. ...read more.

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