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Robert Frost Biography | Poet

Photo of Robert Frost

Robert Lee Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California. Though his work was first published in England before becoming popular in America, Frost enjoyed immense respect, popularity, and prestige while he was living. Robert Frost is one of the most awarded and honored American poets, and his work is known for its depictions of late 19th and early 20th century New England's rural people.

Frost attended Dartmouth College after graduating from high school in 1892. In 1894 his first poem, titled "My Butterfly: an Elegy", was published in The Independent, a literary journal based in New York. Robert Frost went on to attend Harvard University in 1897 after marrying his wife Elinor in 1895. He left university due to health concerns, and moved to a New Hampshire farm in the year 1900.

The time spent on his farm in New Hampshire, trying to work the land, make a life, and provide for his family, were very hard years for Robert Frost and wife and children. However, Frost came to respect rural life and grew an appreciation for what those living around him went through. Because he so intimately knew rural country life, he was able to master depicting it through prose. These experiences on the farm inspired many of his well known pieces of poetry, including "The Tufts of Flowers" and "The Trial by Existence", both of which were published in 1906.

It was when Robert Frost decided to sell his farm in 1912 and move to England that he found publishers who were willing to shine a light on his poetry, something which was tougher for a new poet to do in America. His first book of poems, A Boy's Will, was published only a few months after his arrival in England, and North of Boston was published a year afterward. During his time in England, Robert Frost also met Edward Thomas and Ezra Pound, who would become his friends, colleagues, and mentors. The group of friends encouraged and inspired each other, and each went on to enjoy critical acclaim.

By the time that Robert Frost made it back to his home country of America, he had built a solid career and reputation in England and was able to further his success. His standing allowed him to connect with influential publishers, such as Henry Holt, and get his poetry out into the hands of the American people. In 1916, Frost published Mountain Interval, which contained poems and stories he had written during his stay in England. Later on in his life, Frost taught college classes, lectured, and continued to write and publish poetry.

Robert Frost died on January 29, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts at the age of 88. Before passing, Robert Frost was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poems and contributions to American literature, and the State of Vermont named Frost its Poet laureate on July 22, 1961. A year before his death at the age of 86, Robert Frost recited his poem "The Gift Outright" during the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Just as Frost's work touched so many of the common people during his day, people in modern times still relate to the themes and messages of his work and treasure his poems and stories. 

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