Robert Frost's Poetry, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 4

‘The Road Not Taken’ 6

Summary 7

Annotation 8

‘Out, Out –’ 9

Summary 10

Annotation 11

‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ 13

Summary 14

Annotation 15

Context

Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, California. He spent the first 11 years of his life there, until his journalist father, William Prescott Frost Jr., died of tuberculosis. Following his father's passing, Frost moved with his mother and sister, Jeanie, to the town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. They moved in with his grandparents, and Frost attended Lawrence High School, where he met his future love and wife, Elinor White, who was his co-valedictorian when they graduated in 1892.

After high school, Frost attended Dartmouth College for several months, returning home to work a slew of unfulfilling jobs. In 1894, he had his first poem, ‘My Butterfly: an Elegy,’ published in The Independent, a weekly literary journal based in New York City. With this success, Frost proposed to Elinor, who was attending St. Lawrence University, but she turned him down because she first wanted to finish school. Frost then decided to leave on a trip to Virginia, and when he returned, he proposed again. By then, Elinor had graduated from college, and she accepted. They married on December 19, 1895, and had their first child, Elliot, in 1896.

Beginning in 1897, Frost attended Harvard University but had to drop out after two years due to health concerns. He returned to Lawrence to join his wife, who was now pregnant with their second child, daughter Lesley (1899). In 1900, Frost moved with his wife and children to a farm in New Hampshire—property that Frost's grandfather had purchased for them—and they attempted to make a life on it for the next 12 years. Though it was a fruitful time for Frost's writing, it was a difficult period in his personal life.

The Frost's firstborn son, Elliot, died of cholera in 1900. ...

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