Robert Frost Biography

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Born March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California, Robert Frost would later go down as one of the most influential poets in American history. Throughout his career, Frost was given several accolades such as four Pulitzer Prizes, a Congressional Gold Medal, and poet laureate of Vermont. None of these awards would have been achieved if not for Frost’s work such as Nothing Gold Can Stay, The Road Not Taken, and Out, Out. These works not only show how Frost views the world and all of its faults, but does so with simple syntax and numerous extended metaphors.

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Depression and illness overtook all of his family members- including himself, and themes of harsh reality are present in the majority of his poems. For example, in Nothing Gold Can Stay, Frost speaks about how nothing precious, genuine, or worthwhile ever lasts. This is evident in the first line Nature’s first green in gold (1), where he compares the first blooms of spring, something innocent and new, to gold, something of high value. Frost then takes this item of value and in the last line says, Nothing gold can stay (8), implying that anything of value will not last. In Out, Out, a similar view of harsh reality is portrayed. As if a young boy cutting off his own hand was not enough, Frost ends the poem with No more to build on there. And they, since they/ Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs (33,34). Rather than dwelling in the suffering or loss of a little boy, those around the child simply returned to life because life does not just halt due to personal issues or losses.

A poet is nothing without his style, and Frost is short, sweet, and to the point. His syntax is precise, and helps get the point across without throwing around unnecessary details. One of his most famous poems, The Road Not Taken, is only twenty lines and is broken into four stanzas. Another one of his famous poems, Nothing Gold Can Stay, is merely one stanza consisting of eight lines. Compared to other famous poets such as Marilyn Hacker, whose poems take up pages and pages, Robert Frost is significantly more precise. This simple syntax helps Frost more accurately convey the pain and misfortune he has experienced in life and even turn it into advice.

Comparing innocence and objects of value to gold and hard life choices to paths in a forest are just two of multiple extended metaphors Frost uses in his writing. What better way to help readers relate to pain and misfortune than to take these complex themes and turn them into relatable scenarios? In The Road Not Taken, in order to explain that the most popular choice may not always be the better one, he compares it to two paths in the woods. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I/ I took the one less traveled by/ and that has made all the difference(18-20) is Frost explaining that by taking the less popular path in life, he was able to go to a more appealing place than if he were to have taken the other because it was grassy and wanted wear (8). Anyone ever faced with a decision in life can easily picture two roads and a life changing impact behind the bends of each, which is what makes Frost such a captivating writer.

Traditional and boring to some, but concise and personal to others is exactly what makes Robert Frost so interesting. Without the basic quintet structure in The Road Not Taken, or the simplicity of comparing a budding leaf to gold in Nothing Gold Can Stay, or even the blunt reality that life goes on in Out, Out, none of Frost’s work would be as well known as it is today. For every poem, there are a dozen literary devices to study and with life lessons to learn and extended metaphors to relate to, no matter what difficult situation an individual is enduring, this nineteenth century poet has a poem to act as a guide towards reality.

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