Robert Frost - A Poet of Sadness? Sample Essay
“Robert Frost – a poet of sadness?” Write an introduction to the poetry of Robert Frost using the above title. Your introduction should address his themes and the impact of his poetry on you as a reader. Support your points with reference to the poems you have studied. (2007)
Robert Frost – a poet of sadness?
Robert Frost engages with his readers through language, sound, imagery and style. He has been heralded as one of the most popular poets of the early twentieth century. Frost is often quoted and his poems have a broad range of themes, whilst staying closely to rural settings. The idyllic settings and colloquial voices have often been seen as simplistic, and there are many of his published poems which deal with idyllic countryside scenes and pastoral beauty. Although the typical connotation of nature is positivity, life and happiness, Frost often uses these scenes to juxtapose deeper, sadder ideas. I believe that Frost could be considered a ‘poet of sadness’ but I would not refer to his poetry as solely depressive or morose; he has a reflective body of work and many of his considerations do stem from darker ideas but this does not define it.
In ‘Birches’ Frost compares what is ideal in his imagination to what is the actual truth. He describes the bent birch trees and likes to thnk that it is because boys having been ‘swinging’ on them. This conveys an image of jovial, childhood fun. We are then informed that they have actually been bent by the ice storms. This harsh switch back to reality is extremely effective on the readers imagination. Frost is jolting his audience with this harsh representation of reality. A theme in this poem is imagination, this easily leads to the idea of escapism. This harsh view of realty Frost depicts could make one only want to escape, it is even suggested as the voice considers getting ‘away from the earth for a while’. This idea is synonymous with death but does not follow it to a definite conclusion.
In ‘After Apple Picking’ Frost use...