Robert Frost: A Poet to Remember
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Robert Frost was one of Americas leading 20th-century poets and a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He has been an inspiration to many young writers and aspiring poets. Although he lived through a troubled and tragic life, Frost was able to express his unique view of nature and the world around him in the delicate art of poetry. His direct and easy-to-read poems made him one of the most recognized poets in the country. Robert Frost had the ability to make his poems accessible to anyone reading them. His use of everyday vocabulary and traditional form of poetry made it easy for readers, although translating them is not as easy. Robert Frosts poems are very connotative in nature, making them very profound to read.

Frost started writing poetry at the end of the 19th century, in the late Victorian period; when he was about fifteen years of age. He wanted to reform poetic language away from the artificial, tremendously aged, diction used by his predecessors. Frost believed even ordinary conversation could be made poetic. However, when it came to form and structure, Frost relied on tradition. He wrote rhymed verse and blank verse, but never used free verse. He once said, “I would sooner write free verse as play tennis with the net down.” It was quite obvious Frost disliked free verse poetry.

Frost used many metaphoric meanings in his poetry. To the literal mind, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening might actually be about the character of the poem stopping near some woods while it was snowing. Almost expectedly, Frosts poem goes much deeper than that.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. ” This excerpt is from the last verse in Frosts poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. One with a literal mind might possibly suspect that Frost is saying he would love to stay and look into the beautiful, dark woods, but he has much too many things to do before he can rest. A person who thinks more metaphorically might think, perhaps he is speaking of death. How he would love to stop and just wait it out, but he has promises, and things he must fulfill before he can let go. Frost used metaphors constantly, in most of his poetry. The above is only one example, there are many in just the one poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. His later poems were simpler, but still held to their metaphoric brothers.

Frost wrote many of his best poems on several levels of meaning. He often described a natural setting with beautiful seasonal imagery connections to human beings through them. There would be a literal meaning and a deeper, more profound, meaning. Many of his poems were parables: simple stories which are meant to remind the reader of something else- perhaps more spiritual or psychological. Frost often cautioned the reader, “Dont press the poem too hard.” He said, “The real meaning is the most obvious meaning.” He was not a poet of obscuration. He believed a good poem did not require footnotes. Wordplay was very important to Frost, along with form and structure, but for the reader to need to stop and try to define a word, there was a chance the reader could miss the meaning of the poem. Robert Frost would not allow his poetry to be misunderstood or misread because of the use of a word. Simplicity was the greatest form of complexity

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