Robert Frost – Use of Everyday Items in his Poetry
“Robert Frost is a poet of genius because he could so often make his subtleties inextricable from an apparent availability.” (Poirier p. x)
Frost uses simple everyday subjects such as nature, man, and home to get his point across in his poetry.
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco California. His father, William Prescott Frost, was a journalist who worked for the Daily Evening Post in San Francisco. His mother, Isabelle Moodie Frost, came into the United State when she was 12 years old. Frost was born a year after his parents had gotten married. After Frost’s father had died in 1885, he moved with his family to New England where he attended Lawrence High School. “Frost had published several poems in the school magazine and was named class poet.” (Bloom p.12) “He graduated in 1892, sharing valedictorian honors with Elinor White, to whom he became engaged.” (Bloom p. 12) Frost then went onto Dartmouth College, he ended up dropping out of school after one semester. “He instead pursued a variety of jobs, including teaching at his mothers private school and working in a textile mill. In 1894 he published a few poems in The Independent and began
“If a reader, even the most superficial takes anything at all from Frost’s poems, it is likely to be a memorable impression created by the overwhelming presence of nature.” (Gerber p.131) “Frost visualizes man always cradled within nature, totally immersed in environment.” (Gerber p.132) “Frost’s views of nature does possess a persistent ethical or metaphysical dimension of very substantial importance in any examination of Frost’s work or of the values expressed in that work.” (Nitchie p.5) This is saying that Frost basically tends to pull away from the statements of a theory of nature, or man’s relationship. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, is said by many people to be one of Frost’s most famous poems. “He himself always offered it as the prime example of his commitment to convention.” (Gerber p. 85) “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” the pressure of distant responsibilities, referred to in abstract terms, prevents the speaker from lingering to contemplate a sensuously appealing landscape near at hand. In his longing for the darkness and sleep represented by the “lovely” woods swept by “easy wind and downy flake,” he seems to look forward to the final rest that succeeds all engagements with reality.” (Gerber p.76) ” Whose woods these are I think I know” suggests that is a poem concerned with ownership and does not choose to care even about owning himself. “The terrifying lightness of sight and sound leads the speaker to contemplate the woods as “lovely, dark, and deep,” a desire to lose himself in this self-annihilating scene.” (Bloom p.64)
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 rejects nature’s impersonal plea in favor of purpose, the last verse refuses to imply whatever such purpose is self produced and determined