Robert Lee Frost (1874 - 1963) MP

‹ Back to Frost surname

Is your surname Frost?

Research the Frost family

Robert Lee Frost's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Cause of death: complications following prostate surgery
Occupation: Poet and Playwright, Poet, American Poet
Managed by: Tammy Swingle (Tucker)
Last Updated:

About Robert Lee Frost

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.Frost was 86 when he spoke and performed a reading of his poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. He died in Boston two years later, on January 29, 1963, of complications from prostate surgery. He was buried at the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. His epitaph quotes a line from one of his poems: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world."

--------------------

His work frequently employed themes from the early 1900s rural life in New England, using the setting to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes.

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. His mother, Isabelle Moodie Frost, was of Scottish descent; his father, William Prescott Frost, Jr., was a descendant of colonist Nicholas Frost from Tiverton, Devon, England who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634 on the Wolfrana. The Road Not Taken" is a poem by Robert Frost, published in 1916 in his collection Mountain Interval. It is the first poem in the volume, and the first poem Frost had printed in italics. The title is often misremembered as "The Road Less Traveled", from the penultimate line: "I took the one less traveled by". Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

--------------------

Although he is commonly associated with New England, Frost was born in San Francisco to Isabelle Moodie, of Scottish ancestry, and William Prescott Frost, Jr., a descendant of a Devonshire Frost who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634[1]. His father was a former teacher turned newspaperman, a hard drinker, a gambler, a harsh disciplinarian; he had a passion for politics, and dabbled in them, for as long as his health allowed. Frost lived in California until he was eleven years old. After the death of his father in 1885, he moved with his mother and sister to eastern Massachusetts, near his paternal grandparents. His mother joined the Swedenborgian church and had him baptized in it, but he left it as an adult. He grew up as a city boy and published his first poem in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College in 1892, for just over a semester, and while there joined the fraternity Theta Delta Chi. He went back home to teach and work at various jobs including factory work and newspaper delivery.

In 1894 he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly", to The New York Independent for fifteen dollars. Proud of this accomplishment, he asked Elinor Miriam White to marry him. She refused, wanting to finish school before they married. They had graduated co-valedictorians from their high-school and had remained in contact with one another. Frost was sure that there was another man and went on an excursion to the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. He came back later that year and asked Elinor again; she accepted, and they were married in December 1895.

They taught school together until 1897. Frost then entered Harvard University for two years. He did well, but felt he had to return home because of his health and because his wife, Elinor Miriam White, was expecting a second child. His grandfather purchased a farm in Derry, New Hampshire, for the young couple. Soon afterwards his grandfather died. He stayed there for nine years and wrote many of the poems that would make up his first works. His attempt at poultry farming was not successful, and he was forced to take another job at Pinkerton Academy, a secondary school, from 1906 to 1911 as an English teacher. From 1911 to 1912, Robert Frost lived in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and taught at the New Hampshire Normal School (now Plymouth State University).

In 1912, Frost sailed with his family to Glasgow, and later settled in Beaconsfield, outside London.

His first book of poetry, A Boy's Will, was published the next year. In England he made some crucial contacts including Edward Thomas (a member of the group known as the Dymock poets), T. E. Hulme, and Ezra Pound, who was the first American to write a (favorable) review of Frost's work. Frost wrote some of his best pieces of work while living in England.

Frost returned to America in 1915, bought a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, and launched a career of writing, teaching and lecturing. The family homestead in Franconia, which the Frosts owned from 1915 to 1920 and visited in the summers through 1938, is maintained as a museum and poetry conference center [2]. From 1916 to 1938, he was an English professor at Amherst College. He encouraged his writing students to bring the sound of the human voice to their craft. Beginning in 1921, and for the next 42 years (with three exceptions), Frost spent his summers teaching at the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont. Middlebury College still owns and maintains Robert Frost's Farm as a National Historic Site near the Bread Loaf campus.

Upon his death in Boston on January 29, 1963, Robert Frost was buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery, in Bennington, Vermont. Harvard's 1965 alumni directory indicates his having received an honorary degree there; Frost also received honorary degrees from Bates College and Oxford and Cambridge universities, and he was the first to receive two honorary degrees from Dartmouth College. During his lifetime, the Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, as well as the main library of Amherst College were named after him.

The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, was the home of poet Robert Frost from 1900 to 1911. Today it is a New Hampshire state park in use as a historic house museum. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Robert Frost Homestead.

Kennedy inauguration poems Though not notably associated with any political party, Frost is widely remembered for reciting a poem, "The Gift Outright", on January 20, 1961 at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Nominally a tribute to the country's early colonial spirit ("This land was ours before we were the land's"), the poem ends on an optimistic, but characteristically ambivalent, note:

Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war) To the land vaguely realizing westward, But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, Such as she was, such as she would become. Frost had intended to read another poem, "Dedication", which he had written specifically for Kennedy and for the occasion. But with feeble eyesight, unfamiliarity with the new poem, and difficulty reading his typescript in the bright January light, Frost chose only to deliver the poem he knew from memory (which he did in strong voice, despite his 86 years).

In April 2006, a handwritten copy of "Dedication" was donated to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts; it had come from the estate of one of Kennedy's special assistants (who had died the year before). On the manuscript, Frost had added "To John F. Kennedy, At his inauguration to be president of this country. January 20, 1961. With the Heart of the World," followed by, "Amended copy, now let's mend our ways." After removing the paper backing from the frame, a Kennedy archivist discovered a faintly-legible handwritten note from Jacqueline Kennedy: "For Jack, January 23, 1961. First thing I had framed to put in your office. First thing to be hung there."[1]

... The glory of a next Augustan age Of a power leading from its strength and pride, Of young ambition eager to be tried, Firm in our free beliefs without dismay, In any game the nations want to play. A golden age of poetry and power Of which this noonday's the beginning hour.[3] Frost represented the United States on several official missions, including a meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. After the latter meeting, he told a press conference in New York on September 9, 1962 that "Krushchev said American liberals were too liberal to fight."[2] The remark so angered Kennedy[3] that he severed the hitherto cordial relations between himself and Frost, and refused so determinatively to speak to him again that he declined both Stewart Udall's request in January 1963 that he send the dying Frost a final message,[4] and ignored (according to Kennedy biographer Richard Reeves) "pleas from the eighty-eight year old poet's deathbed."[5] Frost's statement at the press conference may not have actually been accurate; in a letter he wrote to Norman Thomas, Frost said "I can't see how Khrushchev's talk got turned into what you quote that we weren't man enough to fight. I came nearer than he to threatening; with my native gentility I assured him that we were no more afraid of him than he was of us."[2]

Over the course of his career, Frost also became known for poems involving dramas or an interplay of voices, such as "Death of the Hired Man". His work was highly popular in his lifetime and remains so. Among his best-known shorter poems are "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", "Mending Wall", "Nothing Gold Can Stay", "Birches", "Acquainted With the Night", "After Apple-Picking", "The Pasture", "Fire and Ice", "The Road Not Taken", and "Directive". Frost won the Pulitzer Prize four times, an achievement unequalled by any other American poet.

Frost was prolific, and poems are occasionally unearthed and published. The most recent instance is "War Thoughts at Home", written around 1918 on the inside cover of a book and published in Virginia Quarterly Review in 2006.[4] Nearly 700 pages of new poems, epigraphs, drafts and fragments appeared in The Notebooks of Robert Frost, published January 2007.[5][6]

Several of Frost's poems form the basis of Randall Thompson's suite for chorus, Frostiana. Robert Frost's poem Nothing Gold Can Stay is mentioned several times in the book The Outsiders. The most famous quote, "Stay gold Ponyboy," is based on his poem. In the film Down by Law, Roberto Benigni's character names "Bob Frost" his favorite poet. In the film Grindhouse, Kurt Russell's character recites part of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." In the computer game Grim Fandango, the player can ask a clown to make a balloon in the shape of Robert Frost. In one episode of the television series "The Simpsons", Krusty the Clown shows an episode of his old "Krusty the Clown Show", where he had invited Robert Frost on to read poetry, but instead dumped snow on his head. In one episode of the West Wing, Josh Leiman discusses Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," and how it portrays people isolating themselves.

------------Works------------------

Poetry A Boy's Will (David Nutt, 1913; Holt, 1915). North of Boston (David Nutt, 1914; Holt, 1914). 'Mending Wall' Mountain Interval (Holt, 1916). 'The Road Not Taken' Selected Poems (Holt, 1923) New Hampshire (Holt, 1923; Grant Richards, 1924). Several Short Poems (Holt, 1924). Selected Poems (Holt, 1928). West-Running Brook (Holt, 1929). The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (Random House, 1929). Collected Poems of Robert Frost (Holt, 1930; Longmans, Green, 1930). The Lone Striker (Knopf, 1933). Selected Poems: Third Edition (Holt, 1934). Three Poems (Baker Library, Dartmouth College, 1935). The Gold Hesperidee (Bibliophile Press, 1935). From Snow to Snow (Holt, 1936). A Further Range (Holt, 1936; Cape, 1937). Collected Poems of Robert Frost (Holt, 1939; Longmans, Green, 1939) A Witness Tree (Holt, 1942; Cape, 1943). Steeple Bush (Holt, 1947). Complete Poems of Robert Frost, 1949 (Holt, 1949; Cape, 1951). Hard Not To Be King (House of Books, 1951). Aforesaid (Holt, 1954). A Remembrance Collection of New Poems (Holt, 1959). You Come Too (Holt, 1959; Bodley Head, 1964) In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962) The Poetry of Robert Frost, (New York, 1969). 'Fire and Ice' (1964) 'Out Out' (Vermont 1964) A Girl's Garden A Hundred Garden A Servant to Servants After Apple-Picking Birches Blueberries Dust of Snow For Once, Then Something Good Hours Good-bye, and Keep Cold Home Burial Mending Wall Neither Out Far Nor in Deep Nothing Gold Can Stay Once By The Pacific Puttingin the Seed Range-Finding Spring Pools Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening The Black Cottage The Code The Death of the Hired Man The Fear The Generations of Men The Housekeeper The Mountain The Oven Bird The Pasture The Rose Family The Self-seeker The Sound Of The Trees The Star-Splitter The Tuft of Flowers The Wood-Pile To E.T. Desert Places

Plays A Way Out: A One Act Play (Harbor Press, 1929). The Cow’s in the Corn: A One Act Irish Play in Rhyme (Slide Mountain Press, 1929). A Masque of Reason (Holt, 1945). A Masque of Mercy (Holt, 1947).

Prose The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963; Cape, 1964). Robert Frost and John Bartlett: The Record of a Friendship, by Margaret Bartlett Anderson (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963). Selected Letters of Robert Frost (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1964). Interviews with Robert Frost (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966; Cape, 1967). Family Letters of Robert and Elinor Frost (State University of New York Press, 1972). Robert Frost and Sidney Cox: Forty Years of Friendship (University Press of New England, 1981). The Notebooks of Robert Frost, edited by Robert Faggen (Harvard University Press, forthcoming January 2007).[7]

Pulitzer Prizes 1924 for New Hampshire: A Poem With Notes and Grace Notes 1931 for Collected Poems 1937 for A Further Range 1943 for A Witness Tree [6]

Refs:

^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/21/AR2006042101378.html?nav=rss_artsandliving/entertainmentnews ^ a b Boller, Jr., Paul F.; George, John (1989). They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505541-1. ^ Dalleck, Robert, John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life 1917-1963 (2003; London: Penguin, 2004), 540. ^ Reeves, Richard, President Kennedy: Profile of Power (1993; London: Papermac, 1994), 455. ^ Reeves, Richard, op. cit., plate 23. ^ http://www.pulitzer.org/cgi-bin/catquery.cgi?type=w&category=Poetry&FormsButton5=Retrieve

--------------------

American Poet Robert Frost is remembered for his award-winning American poetry. He was the recipient of 4 Pulitzer Prizes and read his poem "The Gift Outright" at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. -------------------- Robert Frost From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search You may also be looking for Robert I. Frost, a historian. Robert Frost Robert Frost (1941) Born Robert Lee Frost March 26, 1874 San Francisco, California, United States Died January 29, 1963 (aged 88) Boston, Massachusetts, United States Occupation Poet, Playwright Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech.[1] His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Contents [hide] 1 Biography 1.1 Early years 1.2 Adult years 1.3 Personal life 2 Selected works 2.1 Poems 2.2 Poetry collections 2.3 Plays 2.4 Prose 2.5 Published as 3 Pulitzer Prizes 4 Notes 5 Sources 6 External links // Biography Early years Robert Frost, circa 1910 Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California to journalist William Prescott Frost, Jr., and Isabelle Moodie.[1] His mother was of Scottish descent, and his father descended from Nicholas Frost of Tiverton, Devon, England, who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634 on the Wolfrana.[citation needed] Frost's father was a teacher and later an editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin (which afterwords merged into the San Francisco Examiner), and an unsuccessful candidate for city tax collector. After his father's death on May 5, 1885, in due time the family moved across the country to Lawrence, Massachusetts under the patronage of (Robert's grandfather) William Frost, Sr., who was an overseer at a New England mill. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892.[2] Frost's mother joined the Swedenborgian church and had him baptized in it, but he left it as an adult. Despite his later association with rural life, Frost grew up in the city, and published his first poem in his high school's magazine. He attended Dartmouth College for two months, long enough to be accepted into the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Frost returned home to teach and to work at various jobs including helping his mother teach her class of unruly boys, delivering newspapers, and working in a factory as a lightbulb filament changer. He did not enjoy these jobs at all, feeling his true calling as a poet. Adult years "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life — It goes on" -- Robert Frost This is the stone wall at Frost's farm in Derry, New Hampshire, which he described in "Mending Wall." In 1894 he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly: An Elegy" (published in the November 8, 1894 edition of the New York Independent) for fifteen dollars. Proud of this accomplishment he proposed marriage to Elinor Miriam White, but she demurred, wanting to finish college (at St. Lawrence University) before they married. Frost then went on an excursion to the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, and asked Elinor again upon his return. Having graduated she agreed, and they were married at Harvard University[citation needed], where he attended liberal arts studies for two years. He did well at Harvard, but left to support his growing family. Grandfather Frost had, shortly before his death, purchased a farm for the young couple in Derry, New Hampshire; and Robert worked the farm for nine years, while writing early in the mornings and producing many of the poems that would later become famous. Ultimately his farming proved unsuccessful and he returned to education as an English teacher, at Pinkerton Academy from 1906 to 1911, then at the New Hampshire Normal School (now Plymouth State University) in Plymouth, New Hampshire. In 1912 Frost sailed with his family to Great Britain, living first in Glasgow before settling in Beaconsfield outside London. His first book of poetry, A Boy's Will, was published the next year. In England he made some important acquaintances, including Edward Thomas (a member of the group known as the Dymock Poets), T.E. Hulme, and Ezra Pound. Pound would become the first American to write a (favorable) review of Frost's work, though Frost later resented Pound's attempts to manipulate his American prosody. Surrounded by his peers, Frost wrote some of his best work while in England. The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, where he wrote many of his poems, including "Tree at My Window" and "Mending Wall." As World War I began, Frost returned to America in 1915. He bought a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, where he launched a career of writing, teaching, and lecturing. This family homestead served as the Frosts' summer home until 1938, and is maintained today as The Frost Place, a museum and poetry conference site at Franconia. During the years 1916–20, 1923–24, and 1927–1938, Frost taught English at Amherst College, Massachusetts, notably encouraging his students to account for the sounds of the human voice in their writing. For forty-two years, from 1921 to 1963, Frost spent almost every summer and fall teaching at the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College, at the mountain campus at Ripton, Vermont. He is credited as a major influence upon the development of the school and its writing programs; the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference gained renown during Frost's time there.[citation needed] The college now owns and maintains his former Ripton farmstead as a national historic site near the Bread Loaf campus. In 1921 Frost accepted a fellowship teaching post at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he resided until 1927; while there he was awarded a lifetime appointment at the University as a Fellow in Letters.[3] The Robert Frost Ann Arbor home is now situated at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Frost returned to Amherst in 1927. In 1940 he bought a 5-acre (2.0 ha) plot in South Miami, Florida, naming it Pencil Pines; he spent his winters there for the rest of his life.[4] Harvard's 1965 alumni directory indicates Frost received an honorary degree there. Though he never graduated from college, Frost received over 40 honorary degrees, including ones from Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge universities; and he was the only person to receive two honorary degrees from Dartmouth College. During his lifetime the Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, and the main library of Amherst College were named after him. Frost was 86 when he spoke and performed a reading of his poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. He died in Boston two years later, on January 29, 1963, of complications from prostate surgery. He was buried at the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. His epitaph quotes a line from one of his poems: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world." Frost's poems are critiqued in the Anthology of Modern American Poetry (Oxford University Press) where it is mentioned that behind a sometimes charmingly familiar and rural façade, Frost's poetry frequently presents pessimistic and menacing undertones which often are either unrecognized or unanalyzed.[5] One of the original collections of Frost materials, to which he himself contributed, is found in the Special Collections department of the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts. The collection consists of approximately twelve thousand items, including original manuscript poems and letters, correspondence, and photographs, as well as audio and visual recordings.[6] Personal life Robert Frost's personal life was plagued with grief and loss. His father died of tuberculosis in 1885, when Frost was 11, leaving the family with just $8. Frost's mother died of cancer in 1900. In 1920, Frost had to commit his younger sister, Jeanie, to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later. Mental illness apparently ran in Frost's family, as both he and his mother suffered from depression, and his daughter Irma was committed to a mental hospital in 1947. Frost's wife, Elinor, also experienced bouts of depression.[3] Elinor and Robert Frost had six children: son Elliot (1896–1904, died of cholera), daughter Lesley Frost Ballantine (1899–1983), son Carol (1902–1940, committed suicide), daughter Irma (1903–1967), daughter Marjorie (1905–1934, died as a result of puerperal fever after childbirth), and daughter Elinor Bettina (died three days after birth in 1907). Only Lesley and Irma outlived their father. Frost's wife, who had heart problems throughout her life, developed breast cancer in 1937, and died of heart failure in 1938.

view all 17

Robert Lee Frost's Timeline

1874
March 26, 1874
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
1895
December 19, 1895
Age 21
Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1896
September 25, 1896
Age 22
Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1899
April 28, 1899
Age 25
Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1902
May 27, 1902
Age 28
Derry, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
1903
June 26, 1903
Age 29
Derry, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
1905
March 29, 1905
Age 31
Derry, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
1907
June 20, 1907
Age 33
Derry, Rockingham, NH, USA
1963
January 29, 1963
Age 88
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
????
- present
Hanover, New Hampshire, United States