Monday, December 12, 2011

    Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He wrote his poem poem La Noche Triste in 1890. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal degree.
     Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first professional poem, "My Butterfly," was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.
     In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who became a major inspiration in his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after their New Hampshire farm failed, and it was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work.
     By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will and North of Boston, and his reputation was established. Between 1916 and 1923, he published two more books of poetry- the second one, New Hampshire, winning the 1923 Pulitzer Prize. He went on to win three more Pulitzer Prizes and was invited to recite his poem "The Gift Outright" at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in January 1961. By the nineteen-twenties, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (1923), A Further Range (1936), Steeple Bush(1947), and In the Clearing (1962)—his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased.
     Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England, and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time, Frost is anything but a merely regional or minor poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.
     In a 1970 review of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman describes Frost's early work as "the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources of its own delight in the world," and comments on Frost's career as The American Bard: "He became a national celebrity, our nearly official Poet Laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular, Mark Twain."
     About Frost, President John F. Kennedy said, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding."
     Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.

Time Period
The post-industrial era- Robert Frost was a Modernist poet, therefore the poem originated from the Modernist era in 1916. The modernist era was a time of great change where people were able to express their opinions and move away from original or 'old' ideas, especially in literature. People wanted to reinvent the way of composing stories and poetry. The modernist era was also a time of difficulty and people were confused about whether or not they should accept new ideas and notions or stick with original ideas imposed by government, family and religion. 

Interesting Facts & Pictures
DID YOU KNOW...??...

Robert Frost was born with mental illness.

A rich kid and a teacher’s pet, Frost was despised by his classmates
Frost packed a punch when humiliating classmates – he used alliteration, assonance, and consonance as well as simple rhymes when making fun of their names. The budding poet had many targets – namely two boys who had poor hygiene, Jack Plaque and his brother Stankie Frankie.

As Robert grew older, his insults became more complex as he used meters in his insults such as iambic, throchaic, spondaic,  anapestic, and dactylic. This complexity drove children to tears at the beginning of each school-week at the renewed prospect of becoming immortalized in verse. Frost once waxed eloquent in iambic pentameter about Ella and how much she looked like a “fella.”

frost writing Over time Frost developed his talent and, as we know, focused on poems that benefited society. The Road Not TakenMending Wall, and Nothing Gold Can Stay solidified the former playground bully’s status as one of the most talented poets in history.

Robert Frost with his family

Robert Frost's and family's gravesite behind the Old First Church - Bennington, VT
    -His first child, Elliot, died in 1904 of cholera. His son Carol committed suicide in 1940. His daughter Marjorie died in 1934 of puerperal fever after childbirth. 

Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration.
    -The inauguration of President JFK was on January 20, 1961. Robert had written a new poem for the event, but when he was unable to read it well and stumbled, he recited a poem from memory instead. The poem he read was "The Gift Outright".
      Robert Frost went to Rehab twice and it was heard that he was on Meth too.

      Digital Story

      Poem                                                                           Paraphrase 
      Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,                One road splits into two inside a wood in Autumn,
      And sorry I could not travel both                         And although I was sorry that I could not travel both
      And be one traveler, long I stood                         at once, I stood for a long time
      And looked down one as far as I could                And looked down one as far as I could
      To where it bent in the undergrowth;                   To where it turned and was lost amongst the small plants.

      Then took the other, as just as fair,                       I decided to take the other because it looked just as good,
      And having perhaps the better claim                    And perhaps provided the better choice ,
      Because it was grassy and wanted wear,              Because it was grassy and invited some-one to walk on it;
      Though as for that the passing there                     Even though both tracks seemed to have had about the 
                                                                                          same number of people passing there
      Had worn them really about the same,                  and had been worn about the same.

      And both that morning equally lay                       And both tracks had not been used already that morning
      In leaves no step had trodden black.                     because no steps had trodden in the leaves.
      Oh, I marked the first for another day!                  I would keep the first track for another day
      Yet knowing how way leads on to way               Yet knowing how one track often leads onto another track,
      I doubted if I should ever come back.                  I doubted if I should ever come back to where I started.

      I shall be telling this with a sigh                           Long into the future I shall be telling this to some-one else                
      Somewhere ages and ages hence:                        with fond memories                  
      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,                 About the two roads that I had to choose from in a wood,
      I took the one less traveled by,                             and how I took the one less traveled by,
      And that has made all the difference.                   And that has made all the difference to my life.


      Title- The title of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”, seems to refer to a path in life he did not take. Most people write about the choices in life they did make. Maybe the author is suggesting that he wishes he would have taken this other “road”?

      Paraphrase- The author is explaining about a time where he was faced with choosing between two roads. He was alone and considered both options carefully, looking as far down one as he could “to where it bent in the undergrowth” (line 5). He chooses the other path, which is one that seems less worn, yet comparable to the first. While the author would like a chance to travel the first path, he doubts he “should ever come back” (line 15). The author concludes with the idea that later in life he will look back and remember that when faced with the two roads, he picked the path fewer people traveled, “And that has made all the difference” (line 20).

      • Symbolism- line 1-The use of the color yellow implies that this is taking place during the change of seasons from summer to fall. Fall is often used in literature to symbolize the later years of a person’s life. Fall is also a symbol for a time of change. Consequently, perhaps this choice comes during a time of change in the latter half of the author’s life. It is clear to the reader that the “road” referred to is the road of life, rather than an actual road, and that the two roads represent two paths he may choose in life. Frost ponders the details of both roads in the hope that the “better claim” shows itself (line 7). He realizes that while each path is different, they “equally lay/In leaves no step had trodden black” (line 11-12). Furthermore, he understands that choosing one or the other is a final choice, as “[He] doubted if [he] should ever come back” (line15). Lastly, Frost chooses the path “less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference” (line 19-20).
      • Antithesis- When the traveler comes to the fork in the road, he wishes he could travel both. Within the current theories of our physical world, this is a non possibility (unless he has a split personality). The traveler realizes this and immediately rejects the idea.
      • Yet another little contradiction are two remarks in the second stanza about the road less traveled. First it's described as grassy and wanting wear, after which he turns to say the roads are actually worn about the same (perhaps the road less traveled makes travelers turn back?).
      • The connotation of the word “difference” is elusive; is the difference bad or good? Was his life better or worse based on the road he chose? Why is the path fewer people chose the “better” path? (line 7). Without offering the reader a definitive answer to these questions, it is clear that Frost would like us to decide for ourselves – much like he did.
      • Metaphor- Line 1- The road splitting in the woods is a metaphor for a choice. Wherever the speaker's life has taken him so far, he has come to the point where, to go any farther, he needs to make a choice that takes him down one path and precludes him from taking the other. 
      Attitude- The tone at the beginning of the poem is nostalgic and reflective. It is clear that this is a flashback, as the author uses past tense verbs. Frost is pensive and patient as he considers choosing one path over the other. He decides that the path that is “grassy and wanted wear” perhaps is better, implying that perhaps it is more attractive (line 8). Toward the end of the poem, Frost claims he will retell of this decision “with a sigh” (line 16). The connotation of this is unclear; is it a sigh or relief or of regret? Like the ambiguity with the use of the word “difference” on line twenty, Frost would like us to decide for ourselves the outcome of the decision.

      Shifts- A major shift in tone occurs in line thirteen of the poem. Line twelve begins, “In leaves no step had trodden black./Oh, I kept the first for another day!” (line 12-13). Line twelve ends with dark imagery, the tone of which shifts with the optimism of line thirteen, which ends with an exclamation point. The use of the exclamation point heightens the mood and quickens the pace of the poem. Lastly, a double hyphen is used at the end of line eighteen: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --/I took the one less traveled by…” (line 18-19). Frost use of the double hyphen and repetition of “I” emphasizes that his decision was his and his alone, and that he prides himself on his choice.

      Title- The title “The Road Not Taken” would initially lead the reader to think that Frost is going to reflect on a path he should have chosen. While his tone is nostalgic in reflecting on his decision, he ultimately seems satisfied with his choice.

      Theme- “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost celebrates the choices we have in life, while cautioning us to think and consider carefully before we make our own major decisions, because often there is no turning back. Frost encourages us to make the decision for ourselves, rather than others, and implies, with some ambiguity, that the best choice can often be the one chosen less often by others.
      This poem is written from the first person point of view which the poet uses to suggest to readers that individuals are in control of making their own choices. Each person must choose his own path; so Frost repeatedly includes "I" to demonstrate this.


      Work Cited:

      The poem:
      "1. The Road Not Taken. Frost, Robert. 1920. Mountain Interval." Great Books Online -- Quotes, Poems, Novels, Classics and Hundreds More. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      Info. about Frost:                 
      "10 Most Famous Lines of Poetry." Writers Free Reference -- Where to Find Free Information for Writers and Others. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      Facts about Frost:
      "All About Robert Frost - Fun Facts, Questions, Answers, Information." Fun Trivia Quizzes - World's Largest Trivia and Quiz Site! Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      the grave site: 
      'ImageID';, =. "Photo Keywords : Vermont  : Robert Frost's and Family's Gravesite behind the Old First Church - Bennington, VT." Denise's Photos. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      Frost's biography"
      "Robert Frost Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -" Famous Biographies & TV Shows - Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      Analysis of the poem: 
      "The Road Not Taken Analysis." Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <>.

      TASK LIST:

      Blog, Digital Story, One pager, etc done together by RIJA & FARWA =D

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