Robert Frost's Use Of Nature In Poetry

2236 words - 9 pages

Robert Frost's Use of Nature in Poetry


Robert Frost, an American poet of the late 19th century, used nature in many of his writings. Frost was very observant of nature, he often used it to represent the emotion of his characters in his poetry. I will use "West-Running Brook" and "Once by the Pacific" to demonstrate Frost's use of nature in his writings.

Robert Frost was born March 26, 1874 in San Francisco ("American Writers" 150). In 1885, the dying request of his father took Frost back to Massachusetts for the burial. Since Frost couldn't afford to travel back to California, Frost remained there and began his writing. Frost led a simple life. He taught, was a New England farmer, worked in a mill, was a reporter, and wrote. He graduated as valedictorian in High School in 1892 and attended Dartmouth College, but quit shortly after he started. Two years later he sold his first work "My Butterfly: An Elegy" and later that year he married Elinor White. He attempted school again at Harvard but left before getting his degree. The next 10 years he wrote poems and worked small jobs throughout New Hampshire. In 1912 he moved his wife and four kids to England to work on poetry full time. "A Boy's Will" and "North of Boston" became a instant success in Europe and in 1915 he moved to America. "North of Boston" was reissued in America and became a best seller. Frost used the money from it to buy a farm in New Hampshire, where some of his most successful poems were written ("American Writers" 152).

Frost's poems are full of so many strong themes and richer meanings than nature, but most Frost fans prefer his modest feelings toward nature. The images he creates are so vivid and simplistic the common reader can visualize the New England fields, farms, roadsides and forest ("American Writers" 169). This simplicity disguises the poems deep meanings and allows the reader to develop the writing's significance. The easiness of his writings though criticized by critics, appeal to the common man (US Literature 509). Once in a interview Frost was asked about his thought process during writing. He said: "I sometimes speak from the last thing that happen to me. I was asked today if I think up my poems. I pick up a lot of things I thought of to make a poem, that is a lot of scattered thoughts through the days that are handy for the poem. That's where the thinking comes in." He just thought up poems in his head and wrote them down, not even a rough draft (Lathem 41).

I will discuss two other writers. Their comparison with Frost will help display what opinion Frost is writing from in his poems. Robert Frost's favorite poet was Mathew Arnold, but Frost disagreed with his belief in nature. Arnold expressed his opinion in "In Harmony with Nature" (Brooks 1). Arnold's arrogance of man over nature was stated in the last two lines of his poem. The last lines basically insulted anyone who would attempt to have a friendship with...

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