Robert Frost ( 1874-1963)
"I had a lover's quarrel with the world." - epitaph on Robert Frost's grave.
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco March 26, 1874. After his father, William Prescott Frost Jr, a journalist at the San Francisco Bulletin, died of tuberculosis when Robert was 11, his mother, Isabelle Moodie moved the family to Lawrence, Massachusetts to be with Frosts's grandfather who was an overseer at a factory in the mill city. Frost attended Lawrence High School. He briefly attended Dartmouth College, but returned home to work at various jobs including aiding her mother teach. (1)
In 1894 he sold his poem, "My Butterfly: an Elegy," for fifteen dollars to the New York Independent. After marrying Elinor Miriam White in December 1895, and their first child, Elliot was born in 1896. He attended Harvard for two years beginning in 1897. He left Harvard in part due to health reasons and also to support his new family. His second child was born in 1899.
In 1900 Frost's first child, Elliot, died of Cholera in July. In October, he moved his family to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire that his grandfather had bought for him. Then, in November, his mother died.
Between 1902 and 1907 the Frosts had five more children. Their sixth child died shortly after birth. Frost moved his Family to the U.K. Where he published his first collection of poetry, "North of Boston." In England Frost befriended Ezra Pound who wrote favorably of Frost's poetry.
Frost was interested in reproducing American vernacular speech in his work. Frost said "the ear was the only true writer and the only true reader." (2)
The Frosts returned to America as World War I began in 1915. In Summers from 1921 until 1962 Frost taught at Bread Loaf School of Middlebury College in Vermont. Frost won many Awards for his poetry during his life including four Pulitzer Prizes. Like his mother he suffered from depression throughout his life.
Robert Frost died January 29, 1963.
Text of poems
The Most of It
Tree at My Window
Wikipedia: Robert Frost (note 1)
Modern American Poetry: Robert Frost's Life and Career (note 2)
Frost Friends: Chronology
Sites of interest
Robert Frost Farm
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