The life of Robert Frost is a long and meandering tale. It begins in a small rural town in California, where his father and mother had moved because of their hate of New England. Roberts father was a very influential man that had come from a well to do family back east. In 1885 Roberts father choose to run for a Government office in California, and lost to a narrow margin. He became so depressed and enraged he went on a week long drinking binge and disappeared. When he resurfaced he had become very ill, and died soon after leaving the family no insurance policy, and many debts to pay.
The Frost family, which consisted now of his mother, sister, and himself, were forced to move back to New England where they could depend on family for help. Rob spent his child hood living with his mother, moving through towns, much more than any normal child would have to at that age. For some time the family was absolutely poverty struck, and relied totally on the generosity of Robs deceased fathers family. Once the family settled down, Robert began to excel in his studies, and became very determined to succeed.
When high school had ended for Robert Frost he went to college at Dartmouth, and soon discovered his love for the English language and poetry. Although the schedule at Dartmouth was far from what Rob needed to place pressure on his learning abilities. He soon feared that with his current state he would never be able to reach the goals that he had set for himself. After his freshman year, he convinced his mom that Dartmouth had nothing more to offer him, and he applied to Harvard and was accepted. In this time period Frost met his soon to be wife Eleanor as well.
Frost soon married and moved away entirely form the security of his mom, and into the world on his own. Although little did Frost know that his life in the outside world would be very harsh to him. The first problem Frost came about, was a mysterious illness that was very painful and debilitating to the young man. When the problems continued Frost went to get his problem checked out, although nothing could be found wrong. The Doctor told him that his illness was a stress induced one, a thing that happens to young men that have far to much on there minds and do not get enough stress reducing activity.
It was very clear that Frost had been under a lot of stress, attempting to handle a new family, as well as go to Harvard. Frost well knowing that he could not continue to live his life with this pain, decided to take a leap into the farming business. This type of work would be very stress reducing to the young man, and give him the time he needed to raise his new son. Frost was well aware that he knew nothing of the art of farming, and hoped that it was something that he could pick up on. He once again went to his Grandfather for money, and his grandfather gave it to him, at fair interest.
His first farm did not show him any returns in profit, and all he had to show for it was more empty pockets. Roberts new farm did return his health back to him, and he was feeling better than he ever had in his life. Just as things seemed to be looking up for Frost, in October, his son Elliot became ill. The first doctor that he was brought to diagnosed him with nothing more than an infection, and Elliots conditions worsened. In a week the Frosts sent for a new doctor, who regretfully told them that their son had cholera and would die within the night. Roberts urge to live was entirely gone with the lose of his son.
Frost and his wife soon lost faith in a god that could do such a horrible thing to an innocent boy. They moved to another farm, which they purchased again with Roberts Grandfather. As winter rolled around, Frost became more depressed by the lose of life of Mother Nature itself. Frost became very suicidal during those months after his sons death. Robert Frost survived those deep and depressing nights, and as spring rolled around the Frosts luck began to change. Roberts Grandfather soon died, later that spring and left all he had to his grandson and his wife.
Although the money was to be paid in annual amounts of 400 dollars to his wife and 500 to himself, it was a step out of the hole. He soon found himself a job teaching English at Pinkerton Academy. This job lead to bigger and better things for Frost and his wife, and soon they were gaining some respect among the community. In 1906 Frost realized that he and his family not only needed a change in housing but a change in the country that they were residing. That spring on no more than a gut feeling Frost took his family and moved them to a Suburb in England.
In England Frost was finally able to find the life that he needed to focus on writing, and he began writing his first book. With in the year A Boys Will was complete and soon was being published. Frost continued in his writing, and soon came out with another book, North of Boston. Life had finally picked up for Frost, and when he returned to the States, he was a well-known and respected poet as well as author. From this point on in Frosts life, his writing carrier flourished with few to little difficulties. He began teaching at many respectable colleges, such as Amherst, and made appearances at Harvard as well.
Robert Frost lived a long and fruitful life, in which he went on to become Americas poet laureate, as well as National bard, and one of the best loved poets in the United States. He died at the age of eight-eight, a very respected man, and a legend in his own time. Frost had many experiences that gave him a great perspective on life. Although none of his experiences influenced him more than his years that he lived on his farm in Derry. This was a time period in Frosts life where he was able to discover who he was. His poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, was a recollection back on one of the harder periods in his life.
In Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, he talks about his experiences of stopping by the pond and having thoughts to suicide. He mentions in the poem, the frozen lake, in the lines, Between the woods and frozen lake/ the darkest evening of the year. Then in the final quatrain Frost says, 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. Frost in these lines tells the reader of his wishes to give into his temptations of suicide. Frost ends the poem by stating that he could not give in though, because of his family which waited for him at his home.
In the last line he states that he had miles to go before he slept, although he repeats it as well. He repeats it because he has two entirely separate meanings for the two lines, one being that he literally had miles to go, and secondly that he had years to go before he could die. In this time of great depression, Frost and his wife began questioning their feelings on god as well. Later frost decided that a god that had intent that was evil, would not be worshiped by him or his family. In Design he is trying to express his feelings about this subject. Frost wrote about a scene, which he comes upon in the woods.
In the picture he comes upon a white heal-all flower, which are regularly blue. On the flower is a spider that is white as well, and in the spiders possession is a white moth. We can immediately understand that this scene is not by pure coincidence, and that some divine power must have made created it. White, which is normally a pure and innocent color, is now being used by whatever brought all of these things together, to kill an innocent moth, on an innocent flower. Frost questions good and evil, and if god has an evil intent. He makes it clear that he does not wish to worship a god that could be evil, or do evil.
He is showing us that we must examine our world, and ask ourselves, does our god have cruel intentions. Frost moved to England after he sensed that his writing carrier would not go anywhere if he remained in the States. Toward the end of his stay, in England he began to feel homesick and thought back to his times in the States. He recalled every spring going over to his neighbor and setting a date for the rebuilding of the stone wall that existed between there properties. In recollection of this event he remembered how set in his ways his neighbor always was about everything.
In the poem, Mending Wall, Frost questions why they did rebuild the wall if all it was going to do was fall down again the next year. The neighbor could only respond with what his father had told him, Good fences make good neighbors. Frost attempted to explain to the neighbor why the wall was useless, because there was no purpose for it. He states in the poem, Why do they make good neighbors? , isnt it/ Where there are cows? But here there are no cows,/ Before I built a wall Id ask to know/ what I was walling in or walling out,/ and to whom I was like to give offense.
None of Roberts independent thinking could change the mind of his neighbor, and nor could his independent thinking impress any of the town where he lived at the time. This encounter to Robert Frost seemed to be pure poetry when he looked back on it one rainy day in England, and Frost wrote exactly what he had on his mind at the time. While in England Frost became a friend with a man named Edward Thomas, who was an aspiring poet. Thomas and Frost would often go on long hikes together, through the backcountry side of England, and botanize.
Edward would lead the way though the countryside trying to show his new American friend an extraordinary new plant that they could marvel over. Although after every excursion Thomas would be disappointed in the trip and wish that he had chosen a better location for the hike. Frost found this very comical that his friend was always displeased. One day Frost remarked to Thomas, No matter which road you take, youll always sigh, and wish youd taken another. Frost though that this situation would make a perfect poem, and went directly home, and wrote the last stanza of the poem.
I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence: / Two roads diverge in a wood, and I-/ I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference. When Frost returned to America, he completed the poem, and sent it back to Thomas as a joke. Little did Frost realize that his poem would be very insightful to Thomas, who then made a decision to go into World War I. The war had just began in England and Thomas felt that he needed to make a choice in life, and choose to fight for his country. Thomas died in 1916 in France while taking a charge through No-mans land.
The poem of course was not just a joke meant to mimic Thomas and his choice on paths in woods, The Road Not Taken, was meant to describe Frosts choice that he had made in life. That choice was that to move to England and not stay in America, where he had lived his entire life. He states in the poem, 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 I the under growth; In these lines he tells the reader that both path seemed to be the same to him, and he looked ahead into the future, to see where his choice might take him.
Frost states in the poem that he knew that he could not return to the other path, because he states way leads to way. In the last section Frost states, looking back on his choice, he was glad that he took the road less traveled by, because it made all the difference in his life. Frost went on to write many other poems, about his thoughts and pondering in life. After his return from England he had gained much respect from all of his efforts. Frost went on to be a very influential poet as well as teacher. Toward the end of his life his writing decreased, although he never lost respect among his loyal following.