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Robert Lee FROST

Male 1874 - 1963  (88 years)


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  • Name Robert Lee FROST 
    Born 26 Mar 1874  San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 29 Jan 1963  Boston, Suffolk County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old Bennington Cemetery, Bennington, Bennington County, VT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Frost, Norman Seaver, Frost Genealogy in Five Families, West Newton, MA: Frost Family Association of America, 1926, p. 276:

      ROBERT LEE FROST, son of William P. and Isabella, born in San Francisco, Mar. 26, 1874; married, Oct., 1895, ELEANOR WHITE. Mr. Frost has a very high reputation as a poet.

      Children: . . .

      [1] LAWRENCE. . . .

      [2] LESLIE. . . .

      [3] CARROLL. . . .

      [4] IRMA.

      (2) Frost, John Eldridge, The Nicholas Frost Family, Milford, NH: Cabinet Press, 1943, pp. 111-113:

      ROBERT LEE FROST, b Mar. 26, 1875; m Dec. 28, 1895, Elinor Marion White (b Oct. 1873; d Mar. 20, 1938, in Gainesville, Florida), daughter of the Rev. Edwin and Henrietta (Cole) White of Acton, Mass. She studied at St. Lawrence University and his first volume, A Boy's Will, was dedicated to her. He studied at Dartmouth College in 1892 and during the following year he was instructor in Latin at his mother's private school in Lawrence, Mass. He tried mill work and was for a short time reporter-editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. He studied at Harvard College, 1897-99. Since that time he has received honorary degrees: M. A., Amherst, 1917, Univ. of Michigan, 1922, L. H. D., Univ. of Vermont, 1923, Litt D., Yale, 1923, Middlebury College, 1924, Bowdoin College, 1926, New Hampshire State University, 1930, Wesleyan University, 1931, Columbia, 1932, Williams College, 1932, Dartmouth, 1933, Bates, 1936, University of Pennsylvania, 1936, St. Lawrence, 1936, Harvard, 1937, Univ. of Colorado, 1939, and Princeton, 1941. In 1900 his grandfather bought a farm for him in Derry, N. H., and he remained there until 1905, when he became a teacher of English at Pinkerton Academy, Derry, N. H., remaining until 1911, and he was then teacher of psychology at the N. H. State Normal School at Plymouth, 1911-12. In 1912 he sailed to England to give all of his time to writing poetry, an interest commenced between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. In Sept. 1912 he went to live in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, and remained until 1914. During this time David Nutt of London published his first work, A Boy's Will, followed by North of Boston, 1914. Heralded by Ezra Pound, his work was well received. During the winter of 1914 he was a farmer at Little Iddens, Gloucestershire. In March 1915, Robert Frost returned to America. Heralded in America by Amy Lowell, he discovered on his return that North of Boston had already been published here by Henry Holt and Company. In 1915 he purchased a farm at South Shaftsbury, Vermont. He was Professor of English at Dartmouth [sic; should be Amherst] College, 1916-20, 1923-25, and again in 1926. He was Fellow in Letters at the University of Michigan, 1925-26. Since 1920 he has been lecturer at the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College during the summers; he was one of the co-founders of this school. In 1933 he was made a fellow at Pierson College of Yale University and in 1936 he became Charles Eliot Norton professor of poetry at Harvard. He was Ralph Waldo Emerson fellow at Harvard College, 1939-41, fellow in American civilization, 1941, and a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard, 1936-39. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1924, 1930 and 1937, the Loines Prize for Poetry, 1931, the Mark Twain Medal, 1937, the gold medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1938, and the silver medal of the Poetry Society of America, 1941. He res. 88 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, and now (1943) at 35 Brewster Street, Cambridge, Mass., and Ripton, Vermont. For further biographical information see: Robert Frost by Gorham B. Munson, New York, 1927. Also helpful is Recognition of Robert Frost, by R. Thornton, New York, 1937. He is the author of A Boy's Will, London, 1913, New York, 1915, North of Boston, London, 1914, New York, 1914, Mountain Interval, New York, 1916, Collected Poems, New York, 1922, New Hampshire, New York, 1923, West-running Brook, New York, 1928, A Way Out (a play), New York, 1928, Collected Poems, New York, 1930, Selected Poems, New York, 1934, Lone Striker, New York, 1933, From Snow to Snow, New York, 1936, Further Range, New York, 1936, Gold Hesperidee, New York, 1936, Collected Poems, New York, 1939, Witness Tree, New York, 1942, Come In and Other Poems, New York, 1943. In 1943 he joined the Dartmouth College faculty at Hanover, N. H., as Ticknor Fellow in the Humanities.

      Children: . . .

      [1] Elliott, b Sept. 28, 1896; d July 8, 1900. . . .

      [2] Lesley, b Apr. 28, 1899 (authoress under name of Lesley Frost); m 1928, Dwight Francis. 2 children. . . .

      [3] Carol, b May 27, 1902; m Lillian LaBatt. . . .

      [4] Irma, b June 26, 1903; m Oct. 15, 1926, John Paine Cone. 1 child [sic; should be 2 children]. . . .

      [5] Marjorie, b Mar. 29, 1905; m June 3, 1933, Willard Edward Fraser; d May 2, 1934. 1 child. . . .

      [6] Eleanor [sic; should be Elinor] Bettina, b June 20, 1907; d June 21, 1907.

      (3) Frost, John Eldridge, Supplement to The Nicholas Frost Family, Milford, NH: Cabinet Press, 1944:

      Page 112:

      Robert Lee Frost, professor of English at Amherst College until 1939. Change Dartmouth to Amherst, l. 9. In 1943, he was again awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Further helpful biographical information will be found in Robert Frost, a bibliography, by W. B. Shubrick Clymer and Charles R. Green, Jones Library, Inc., Amherst, 1937, and Fire and Ice, by Lawrance Thompson, Henry Holt & Co., New York. 1942.

      Page 113

      Irma Frost Cone (Mrs. John Paine), 2 children. . . . Change Eleanor to Elinor.

      (4) "Robert Frost," Encyclopædia Brittanica, 2010, © 2010 Encyclopædia Brittanica, Inc.:

      Robert Frost, in full Robert Lee Frost (b. March 26, 1874, San Francisco, California, U.S. - d. January 29, 1963, Boston, Massachusetts), American poet who was much admired for his depictions of the rural life of New England, his command of American colloquial speech, and his realistic verse portraying ordinary people in everyday situations.

      Life

      Frost's father, William Prescott Frost, Jr., was a journalist with ambitions of establishing a career in California, and in 1873 he and his wife moved to San Francisco. Her husband's untimely death from tuberculosis in 1885 prompted Isabelle Moodie Frost to take her two children, Robert and Jeanie, to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where they were taken in by the children's paternal grandparents. While their mother taught at a variety of schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Robert and Jeanie grew up in Lawrence, and Robert graduated from high school in 1892. A top student in his class, he shared valedictorian honours with Elinor White, with whom he had already fallen in love.

      Robert and Elinor shared a deep interest in poetry, but their continued education sent Robert to Dartmouth College and Elinor to St. Lawrence University. Meanwhile, Robert continued to labour on the poetic career he had begun in a small way during high school; he first achieved professional publication in 1894 when The Independent, a weekly literary journal, printed his poem "My Butterfly: An Elegy." Impatient with academic routine, Frost left Dartmouth after less than a year. He and Elinor married in 1895 but found life difficult, and the young poet supported them by teaching school and farming, neither with notable success. During the next dozen years, six children were born, two of whom died early, leaving a family of one son and three daughters. Frost resumed his college education at Harvard University in 1897 but left after two years' study there. From 1900 to 1909 the family raised poultry on a farm near Derry, New Hampshire, and for a time Frost also taught at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Frost became an enthusiastic botanist and acquired his poetic persona of a New England rural sage during the years he and his family spent at Derry. All this while he was writing poems, but publishing outlets showed little interest in them.

      By 1911 Frost was fighting against discouragement. Poetry had always been considered a young person's game, but Frost, who was nearly 40 years old, had not published a single book of poems and had seen just a handful appear in magazines. In 1911 ownership of the Derry farm passed to Frost. A momentous decision was made: to sell the farm and use the proceeds to make a radical new start in London, where publishers were perceived to be more receptive to new talent. Accordingly, in August 1912 the Frost family sailed across the Atlantic to England. Frost carried with him sheaves of verses he had written but not gotten into print. English publishers in London did indeed prove more receptive to innovative verse, and, through his own vigorous efforts and those of the expatriate American poet Ezra Pound, Frost within a year had published A Boy's Will (1913). From this first book, such poems as "Storm Fear," "Mowing," and "The Tuft of Flowers" have remained standard anthology pieces.

      A Boy's Will was followed in 1914 by a second collection, North of Boston, that introduced some of the most popular poems in all of Frost's work, among them "Mending Wall," "The Death of the Hired Man," "Home Burial," and "After Apple-Picking." In London, Frost's name was frequently mentioned by those who followed the course of modern literature, and soon American visitors were returning home with news of this unknown poet who was causing a sensation abroad. The Boston poet Amy Lowell traveled to England in 1914, and in the bookstores there she encountered Frost's work. Taking his books home to America, Lowell then began a campaign to locate an American publisher for them, meanwhile writing her own laudatory review of North of Boston.

      Without his being fully aware of it, Frost was on his way to fame. The outbreak of World War I brought the Frosts back to the United States in 1915. By then Amy Lowell's review had already appeared in The New Republic, and writers and publishers throughout the Northeast were aware that a writer of unusual abilities stood in their midst. The American publishing house of Henry Holt had brought out its edition of North of Boston in 1914. It became a best-seller, and, by the time the Frost family landed in Boston, Holt was adding the American edition of A Boy's Will. Frost soon found himself besieged by magazines seeking to publish his poems. Never before had an American poet achieved such rapid fame after such a disheartening delay. From this moment his career rose on an ascending curve.

      Frost bought a small farm at Franconia, New Hampshire, in 1915, but his income from both poetry and farming proved inadequate to support his family, and so he lectured and taught part-time at Amherst College and at the University of Michigan from 1916 to 1938. Any remaining doubt about his poetic abilities was dispelled by the collection Mountain Interval (1916), which continued the high level established by his first books. His reputation was further enhanced by New Hampshire (1923), which received the Pulitzer Prize. That prize was also awarded to Frost's Collected Poems (1930) and to the collections A Further Range (1936) and A Witness Tree (1942). His other poetry volumes include West-Running Brook (1928), Steeple Bush (1947), and In the Clearing (1962). Frost served as a poet-in-residence at Harvard (1939-43), Dartmouth (1943-49), and Amherst College (1949-63), and in his old age he gathered honours and awards from every quarter. He was the poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (1958-59; the post is now styled poet laureate consultant in poetry), and his recital of his poem "The Gift Outright" at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961 was a memorable occasion.

      Works

      The poems in Frost's early books, especially North of Boston, differ radically from late 19th-century Romantic verse with its ever-benign view of nature, its didactic emphasis, and its slavish conformity to established verse forms and themes. Lowell called North of Boston a "sad" book, referring to its portraits of inbred, isolated, and psychologically troubled rural New Englanders. These off-mainstream portraits signaled Frost's departure from the old tradition and his own fresh interest in delineating New England characters and their formative background. Among these psychological investigations are the alienated life of Silas in "The Death of the Hired Man," the inability of Amy in "Home Burial" to walk the difficult path from grief back to normality, the rigid mindset of the neighbour in "Mending Wall," and the paralyzing fear that twists the personality of Doctor Magoon in "A Hundred Collars."

      The natural world, for Frost, wore two faces. Early on he overturned the Emersonian concept of nature as healer and mentor in a poem in A Boy's Will entitled "Storm Fear," a grim picture of a blizzard as a raging beast that dares the inhabitants of an isolated house to come outside and be killed. In such later poems as "The Hill Wife" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," the benign surface of nature cloaks potential dangers, and death itself lurks behind dark, mysterious trees. Nature's frolicsome aspect predominates in other poems such as "Birches," where a destructive ice storm is recalled as a thing of memorable beauty. Although Frost is known to many as essentially a "happy" poet, the tragic elements in life continued to mark his poems, from "'Out, Out - '" (1916), in which a lad's hand is severed and life ended, to a fine verse entitled "The Fear of Man" from Steeple Bush, in which human release from pervading fear is contained in the image of a breathless dash through the nighttime city from the security of one faint street lamp to another just as faint. Even in his final volume, In the Clearing, so filled with the stubborn courage of old age, Frost portrays human security as a rather tiny and quite vulnerable opening in a thickly grown forest, a pinpoint of light against which the encroaching trees cast their very real threat of darkness.

      Frost demonstrated an enviable versatility of theme, but he most commonly investigated human contacts with the natural world in small encounters that serve as metaphors for larger aspects of the human condition. He often portrayed the human ability to turn even the slightest incident or natural detail to emotional profit, seen at its most economical form in "Dust of Snow":

      The way a crow
      Shook down on me
      The dust of snow
      From a hemlock tree
      Has given my heart
      A change of mood
      And saved some part
      Of a day I had rued.

      Other poems are portraits of the introspective mind possessed by its own private demons, as in "Desert Places," which could serve to illustrate Frost's celebrated definition of poetry as a "momentary stay against confusion":

      They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
      Between stars - on stars where no human race is.
      I have it in me so much nearer home
      To scare myself with my own desert places.

      Frost was widely admired for his mastery of metrical form, which he often set against the natural rhythms of everyday, unadorned speech. In this way the traditional stanza and metrical line achieved new vigour in his hands. Frost's command of traditional metrics is evident in the tight, older, prescribed patterns of such sonnets as "Design" and "The Silken Tent." His strongest allegiance probably was to the quatrain with simple rhymes such as abab and abcb, and within its restrictions he was able to achieve an infinite variety, as in the aforementioned "Dust of Snow" and "Desert Places." Frost was never an enthusiast of free verse and regarded its looseness as something less than ideal, similar to playing tennis without a net. His determination to be "new" but to employ "old ways to be new" set him aside from the radical experimentalism of the advocates of vers libre in the early 20th century. On occasion Frost did employ free verse to advantage, one outstanding example being "After Apple-Picking," with its random pattern of long and short lines and its nontraditional use of rhyme. Here he shows his power to stand as a transitional figure between the old and the new in poetry. Frost mastered blank verse (i.e., unrhymed verse in iambic pentameter) for use in such dramatic narratives as "Mending Wall" and "Home Burial," becoming one of the few modern poets to use it both appropriately and well. His chief technical innovation in these dramatic-dialogue poems was to unify the regular pentameter line with the irregular rhythms of conversational speech. Frost's blank verse has the same terseness and concision that mark his poetry in general.

      Assessment

      Frost was the most widely admired and highly honoured American poet of the 20th century. Amy Lowell thought he had overstressed the dark aspects of New England life, but Frost's later flood of more uniformly optimistic verses made that view seem antiquated. Louis Untermeyer's judgment that the dramatic poems in North of Boston were the most authentic and powerful of their kind ever produced by an American has only been confirmed by later opinions. Gradually, Frost's name ceased to be linked solely with New England, and he gained broad acceptance as a national poet.

      It is true that certain criticisms of Frost have never been wholly refuted, one being that he was overly interested in the past, another that he was too little concerned with the present and future of American society. Those who criticize Frost's detachment from the "modern" emphasize the undeniable absence in his poems of meaningful references to the modern realities of industrialization, urbanization, and the concentration of wealth, or to such familiar items as radios, motion pictures, automobiles, factories, or skyscrapers. The poet has been viewed as a singer of sweet nostalgia and a social and political conservative who was content to sigh for the good things of the past.

      Such views have failed to gain general acceptance, however, in the face of the universality of Frost's themes, the emotional authenticity of his voice, and the austere technical brilliance of his verse. Frost was often able to endow his rural imagery with a larger symbolic or metaphysical significance, and his best poems transcend the immediate realities of their subject matter to illuminate the unique blend of tragic endurance, stoicism, and tenacious affirmation that marked his outlook on life. Over his long career Frost succeeded in lodging more than a few poems where, as he put it, they would be "hard to get rid of," and he can be said to have lodged himself just as solidly in the affections of his fellow Americans. For thousands he remains the only recent poet worth reading and the only one who matters.

      Philip L. Gerber

      (5) Obituary, The New York Times, January 30, 1963:

      Robert Frost Dies at 88; Kennedy Leads in Tribute

      Special to The New York Times

      NEW YORK. A private funeral service, to be attended by members of the family, will be held for Mr. Frost tomorrow. Burial will be in the family plot in Old Bennington, Vt. On Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 P.M. a public memorial service will be held at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.

      The Frost family suggested that instead of flowers contributions may be made to a Robert Frost fund to establish special chairs for high school teachers. A number of such chairs have already been created in the poet's name, and the project was one in which he was deeply interested. Contributions should be sent to Mr. Frost's publisher, A. C. Edwards of Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 383 Madison Avenue, New York 17, N.Y.

      Remarkable In Many Ways

      Robert Frost was beyond doubt the only American poet to play a touching personal role at a Presidential inauguration; to report a casual remark of a Soviet dictator that stung officials in Washington, and to twit the Russians about the barrier to Berlin by reading to them, on their own ground, his celebrated poem about another kind of wall.
      But it would be much more to the point to say he was also without question the only poet to win four Pulitzer Prizes and, in his ninth decade, to symbolize the rough-hewn individuality of the American creative spirit more than any other man.

      Finally, it might have been even more appropriate to link his uniqueness to his breathtaking sense of exactitude in the use of metaphors based on direct observations. "I don't like to write anything I don't see," he told an interviewer in Cambridge, Mass., two days before his 88th birthday.

      Thus he recorded timelessly (by matching the sharpest observation with the most exact word) how the swimming buck pushed the "crumpled" water; how the wagon's wheels "freshly sliced" the April mire; how the ice crystals from the frozen birch snapped off and went "avalanching" on the snowy crust.

      And to show that this phase of his gift did not blur with age, there was in his last book, published in 1962 by Holt, Rinehart & Winston, a piece called "Pod of the Milkweed." It told of the butterflies clustered on the blossoms so avidly that "They knocked the dyestuff off each others' wings."

      He had seen the particular butterflies, most of them Monarchs, just outside his "boating" home at Ripton, Vt., a few years before.

      Inauguration Incident

      The incident of Jan. 20, 1961-when John F. Kennedy took the oath as President-was perhaps the most dramatic of Mr. Frost's "public" life.

      Invited to write a poem for the occasion, he rose to read it. But the blur of the sun and the edge of the wind hampered him; his brief plight was so moving that a photograph of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson watching him won a prize because of the deep apprehension in their faces.

      But Frost was not daunted. Aware of the problem, he simply put aside the new poem and recited from memory an old favorite, "The Gift Outright," dating to the nineteen-thirties. It fit the circumstances as snugly as a glove.

      Later he took the unread "new" poem, which had been called "The Preface," expanded it from 42 to 77 lines, retitled it "For John F. Kennedy: His Inaugural"-and presented it to the President in March, 1962.

      Later that year, Mr. Frost accompanied Stewart L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior, on a visit to Moscow.

      A first encounter with Soviet children, studying English, did not encourage the poet. He recognized the problem posed by the language; it was painfully ironic, because he had said years before that poetry was what was "lost in translation." And in Moscow, his first hearers clearly did not understand well in English.

      But a few days later, he read "Mending Wall" at a Moscow literary evening. "Something there is that doesn't love a wall," the poem begins. The Russians may not have got the subsequent nuances. But the idea quickly spread that the choice of the poem was not unrelated to the wall partitioning Berlin.

      On Sept. 7, the poet had a long talk with Premier Khrushchev. He described the Soviet leader as "no fathead"; as smart, big and "not a coward."

      "He's not afraid of us and we're not afraid of him," he added.

      Subsequently, Frost reported that Mr. Khrushchev had said the United States was "too liberal to fight." It was this remark that caused a considerable stir in Washington.

      Thus in the late years of his life, Frost moved among the mighty. He was a public personage to thousands of persons who had never read his works. But to countless others, loyal and loving to the point of idolatry, he remained not only a poet but the poet of his day.

      During the first years of the Kennedy Administration, Frost was unquestionably a kind of celebrity-poet around Washington. His face was seen smiling in the background-and frequently the foreground-of news photographs from the Capitol, and quite often he appeared in public with Democratic politicians.

      President Kennedy, when asked why he had requested that Frost speak at the inauguration, praised the "courage, the towering skill and daring" of his fellow New Englander.

      Among the many things that both shared was the high esteem of a poet's place in American society.

      "There is a story that some years ago an interested mother wrote to a principal of a school, 'Don't teach my boy poetry, he's going to run for Congress,'" President Kennedy said. "I've never taken the view that the world of politics and the world of poetry are so far apart. I think politicians and poets share at least one thing, and that is their greatness depends upon the courage with which they face the challenges of life."

      Echoes the Poet's Cry

      He was echoing a cry that Frost had long made-the higher role of the poet in business society. In fact, in 1960, Mr. Frost had urged Congress to declare poets the equal of big business, and received a standing ovation from spectators when he supported a bill to create a National Academy of Culture.

      "I have long thought of something like this," Mr. Frost told a Senate education subcommittee. "Everyone comes down to Washington to get equal with someone else. I want our poets to be declared equal to-what shall I say?-the scientists. No, to big business."

      Many years before, but several years after he had achieved recognition for his work, Frost had slouched characteristically before an audience of young writers gathered under Bread Loaf Mountains at Middlebury, Vt. He said:

      "Every artist must have two fears-the fear of God and the fear of man-fear of God that his creation will ultimately be found unworthy and the fear of man that he will be misunderstood by his fellows."

      These two fears were ever present in Robert Frost, with the result that his published verses were of the highest order and completely understood by thousands of Americans in whom they struck a ready response. To countless persons who had never seen New Hampshire birches in the snow or caressed a perfect ax he exemplified a great American tradition with his superb, almost angular verses written out of the New England scene.

      Not since Whittier in "Snowbound" had captured the penetrating chill of New England's brief December day had any American poet more exactly caught the atmosphere north of Boston or the thin philosophy of its fence-mending inhabitants.

      His pictures of an abandoned cord of wood warming "the frozen swamp as best it could with the slow smokeless burning of decay" or of how "two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference," with their Yankee economy of words, moved his readers nostalgically and filled the back pastures of their mind with memories of a shrewd and quiet way of life.

      20 Years of Rejection

      Strangely enough, Frost spent 20 years writing his verses on stone walls and brown earth, blue butterflies and tall, slim trees without winning any recognition in America. When he sent them to The Atlantic Monthly they were returned with this note:

      "We regret that The Atlantic has no place for your vigorous verse."

      It was not until "A Boy's Will" was published in England and Ezra Pound publicized it that Robert Frost was recognized as the indigenous American poet that he was.

      After that, the way was not so hard, and in the years that followed he was to win the Pulitzer Prize four times, be honored by many institutions of higher learning and find it possible for a poet, who would write of things that were "common in experience, uncommon in writing," to earn enough money so that he would not have to teach or farm or make shoes or write for newspapers-all things he had done in his early days.

      Raymond Holden, poet and critic, pointed out in a "profile" in The New Yorker magazine that there was more than the ordinary amount of paradox in the personality and career of Frost. Essentially a New England poet in a day when there were few poets in that region, he was born in San Francisco; fundamentally a Yankee, he was the son of an ardent Democrat whose belief in the Confederacy led him to name his son Robert Lee; a farmer in New Hampshire, he preferred to sit on a fence and watch others work; a teacher, he despised the rigors of the educational process as practiced in the institutions where he taught.

      Like many another Yankee individualist, Robert Frost was a rebel. So was his father, William Frost, who had run away from Amherst, Mass., to go West. His mother, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, emigrated to Philadelphia when she was a girl.

      His father died when Robert, who was born March 26, 1874, was about 11. The boy and his mother, the former Isabelle Moody, went to live at Lawrence, Mass., with William Prescott Frost, Robert's grandfather, who gave the boy a good schooling. Influenced by the poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Robert wanted to be a poet before he went to Dartmouth College, where he stayed only through the year 1892.

      In the next several years he worked as a bobbin boy in the Lawrence mills, was a shoemaker and for a short while a reporter for The Lawrence Sentinel. He attended Harvard in 1897-98, then became a farmer at Derry, N.H., and taught there. In 1905 he married Elinor White, also a teacher, by whom he had five children. In 1912 Mr. Frost sold the farm and the family went to England.

      He came home to find the editor of The Atlantic Monthly asking for poems. He sent along the very ones that had previously been rejected, and they were published. The Frosts went to Franconia, N.H., to live in a farm house Mr. Frost had bought for $1,000. His poetry brought him some money, and in 1916 he again became a teacher. He was a professor of English, then "poet in residence" for more than 20 years at Amherst College and he spent two years in a similar capacity at the University of Michigan. Later Frost lectured and taught at The New School in New York.

      In 1938 he retired temporarily as a teacher. Mrs. Frost died that year in Florida. Afterward, he taught intermittently at Harvard, Amherst and Dartmouth.

      Won Many Honors

      In 1916 Frost, who had then been a poet for 20 years, was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters; in 1930, of the American Academy. His books, "New Hampshire: A Poem With Notes And Gracenotes," won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1924. When his "Corrected Poems" were published in 1931, he again won that prize. The Pulitzer committee honored him a third time in 1937 for his book, "A Further Range," and again in 1943 for "A Witness Tree."

      Frost won many honorary degrees, from master of arts at Amherst in 1917 to doctor of humane letters at the University of Vermont in 1923, and others followed from Harvard, Yale and other institutions.

      The issuing in 1949 of "The Complete Poems of Robert Frost," a 642-page volume, was the signal for another series of broad critical appraisals studded with phrases like "lasting significance."

      The Limited Editions Club awarded Frost its Gold Medal, and in the following October poets, scholars and editors gathered to do him honor at the Kenyon College Conference. In Washington the Senate adopted a resolution to send him greetings on his 75th birthday.

      On that occasion he said that 20 acres of land for every man "would be the answer to all the world's problems" noting that life on the farm would show men "their burdens as well as their privileges."

      The only existing copy of Frost's first book, "Twilight and Other Poems," was auctioned here that December for $3,000, a price thought to be the highest paid for a work by a contemporary American author. "It had no success and deserved none," the poet commented.

      In later years, Frost, who once wrote:

      I bid you to a one-man revolution.-The only revolution that is coming, became interested in politics, and some of his later verses were on this theme. His lectures, at Harvard, where he was Charles Eliot Norton lecturer in 1936 and 1939, and elsewhere, were less about poetry and more about the moral values of life. But it was less to these than to his earlier works that readers turned for satisfaction; to such lines as these on the "Hired Man":

      Nothing to look backward to with pride
      Nothing to look forward to with hope . . .

      While critics heaped belated praise on his earthy, Yankee, birchbark-clear poems, there were also finely fashioned lyrics in which the man of the soil flashed fire with intellect. Such a poem was "Reluctance" with its nostalgic ending:

      Ah, when to the heart of man was it ever less than treason
      To go with the drift of things, to yield with a grace to reason,
      And bow and accept the end of a love or a season?

      Or:

      Some say the world will end in fire,
      Some say in ice.
      From what I've tasted of desire
      I hold with those who favor fire.
      But if I had to perish twice,
      I think I know enough of hate
      To say that for destruction ice
      Is also great
      And would suffice.

      Even critics who found a harshness sometimes in his work credited Mr. Frost with being a great poet. They appreciated his philosophy of simplicity, perhaps more in later years than during the "renaissance" of American poetry in the nineteen-twenties. For they knew it was a part of Robert Frost, whose innate philosophy of unchangeableness he once expressed when he wrote:

      They would not find me changed from him they knew
      Only more sure of all I thought was true . . . .

      At an annual joint ceremonial in May 1950, of the American Academy and the National Institute, he read a poem entitled "How Hard It Is to Keep From Being King, When It's in You and in the Situation."

      Asked about his method of writing a poem, Frost said: "I have worried quite a number of them into existence, but any sneaking preference [I have had] remains for the ones I have carried through like the stroke of a racquet, club or headsman's ax."

      In an interview with Harvey Breit of The New York Times Book Review, he observed:

      "If poetry isn't understanding all, the whole word, then it isn't worth anything. Young poets forget that poetry must include the mind as well as the emotions. Too many poets delude themselves by thinking the mind is dangerous and must be left out. Well, the mind is dangerous and must be left in."

      (6) A household headed by Robt. FROST is listed in the 1900 census of Methuen, Essex County, MA. [His surname is listed as FRONT in the index to the 1900 census.] [The census enumerator's handwriting is difficult to read, and the compiler is not certain that he has read it correctly.]

      Robt. is listed in the 1900 census as a school teacher who was born in March 1874 and was then 26 years of age. According to the 1900 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in NH, and his mother was born in Scotland. According to the 1900 census, he had then been married 4 years.

      Listed with Robt. is his wife, Elinor, a school teacher who was born in October 1872 and was then 27 years of age. According to the 1900 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in MA, and her mother was born in NH. According to the 1900 census, she had then been married 4 years and had theretofore given birth to 2 children, both of whom were then living.

      Also listed with Robt. is his son, Elliot, who was born in September 1896 and was then 3 years of age. According to the 1900 census, he was born in MA, his father was born in CA, and his mother was born in MA.
      Also listed with Robt. is his daughter, Lesley, who was born in April 1898 and was then 1 year of age. According to the 1900 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robt. is his sister, Jeanie [?], who was born in June 1876 and was then 23 years of age. [Her name is listed as James FRONT in the index to the 1900 census.] According to the 1900 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in NH, and her mother was born in Scotland.

      Also listed with Robt. is his mother, Belle M., a widow who was born in September 1844 and was then 55 years of age. According to the 1900 census, she was born in Scotland, and both of her parents were born in Scotland. According to the 1900 census, she had theretofore given birth to 2 children, both of whom were then living. Also, according to the 1900 census, she had immigrated to the United States in 1854 and had then been in the United States 46 years.

      (7) A household headed by Robert L. FROST is listed in the 1910 census of Derry, Rockingham County, NH. [The census enumerator's handwriting is difficult to read, and the compiler is not certain that he has read it correctly.]

      Robert L. is listed in the 1910 census as a teacher who was then 35 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, he was born in about 1875. According to the 1910 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in MA, and his mother was born in Scotland. According to the 1910 census, he had then been married 15 years.

      Listed with Robert L. is his wife, Eleanor M., who was then 36 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, she was born in about 1874. [Her first name is listed as Eleaner in the index to the 1910 census.] According to the 1910 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in MA, and her mother was born in NH. According to the 1910 census, she had then been married 15 years and had theretofore given birth to 6 children, 4 of whom were then living.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his son [?], Lesley, who was then 11 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, he [?] was born in about 1899. [His [?] first name is listed as Luby in the index to the 1910 census.] According to the 1910 census, he [?] was born in MA, his [?] father was born in CA, and his [?] mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his son, Carol, who was then 8 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, he was born in about 1902. [His first name is listed as Carl in the index to the 1910 census.] According to the 1910 census, he was born in NH, his father was born in CA, and his mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his daughter, Irma, who was then 6 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, she was born in about 1904. According to the 1910 census, she was born in NH, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his daughter, Marjorie, who was then 4 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, she was born in about 1906. [Her first name is listed as Maynie in the index to the 1910 census.] According to the 1910 census, she was born in NH, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his father-in-law, Edwin WHITE, who was then 78 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, he was born in about 1832. According to the 1910 census, he was born in MA, and both of his parents were born in MA. According to the 1910 census, he had then been married 42 years.

      Also listed with Robert L. is his mother-in-law, Henrietta A. WHITE, who was then 65 years of age; therefore, according to the 1910 census, she was born in about 1845. According to the 1910 census, she was born in MA, and both of her parents were born in NH. According to the 1910 census, he had then been married 42 years and had theretofore given birth to 3 children, all of whom were then living.

      (8) World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database online], Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005:

      Name: Robert Frost
      City: Not Stated [The city is stated in the image to be Franconia.]
      County: Grafton
      State: New Hampshire
      Birth Date: 26 Mar 1874
      Race: White
      Roll: 1711719
      Draft Board: 0
      Age: 44
      Occupation: Professor, Amherst College
      Nearest Relative: Mrs. Robert Frost
      Height/Build: Tall/Medium
      Color of Eyes/Hair: Blue/Gray
      Signature: Robert Frost

      (9) Following is information extracted from a document on the website of the Pelham Library, Pelham, MA <http://www.pelham-library.org>:

      It is usually very difficult to track individual renters with specific houses in Pelham as there are no record agencies that match or correlate such data elements at a time when street addresses did not exist. Nevertheless, one renter known to have lived in 4 Amherst Road was that of Amherst College professor and poet Robert Frost [1874-1963] who, along with his family, resided there in the fall of 1917. Lawrence Thompson, in his 1970 biography of Frost, writes: Warren R. "Brown knew what Frost wanted, and he showed him an attractive property on the Pelham Road not too far out in the country-just across the Amherst town-line, in West Pelham. It was a two-story shingled cottage which nestled in against a grove of tall pines. Large enough for a family of six, the cottage had a picturesque setting which immediately appealed to Frost. Through the pine grove, a deep gorge had been made by the innumerable spring freshets of a small stream known as Orient Brook. To the east of the gorge rose a tree-covered hill, locally known as Orient Mountain. The whole region offered a fine variety of places for botanical explorations, or just for casual walking. Frost was well satisfied and he looked no further." The Gazette on October 9, 1917 reported: "Prof. Robert Frost of Amherst college has rented the Frank Wood bungalow in West Pelham."

      Members of Frost's family who lived at 4 Amherst Road were: wife Elinor Miriam White Frost [1873-1938], children Marjorie Frost [Frasier] [1905-1934], Carol Frost [1902-1940], Leslie Frost [Ballantine] [1899-1983], and Irma Frost [Cone] [1903-1981]. Robert Frost is listed on the 1918 Pelham Tax Valuations for "1 poll." Frost later [in 1924] wrote a preface about Pelham in Stephen Burroughs, "Memoirs of the Notorious Stephen Burroughs of New Hampshire." [Burroughs was a notorious New England con man who spent part of 1784 in Pelham giving sermons pretending to be a minister.] Jones Library in Amherst has an extensive Robert Frost collection which includes several items regarding 4 Amherst Road, including a photograph of the house that his daughter, Leslie Frost Ballantine, took in November, 1966.

      Current [2005] owner Thomas R C Hartman reports that there is a large black ink stain on the floor in the room in which Frost used to write. Hartman has been told that Frost caused this stain. When he had the floor redone recently, Hartman was careful to leave the stain as it was.

      (10) A household headed by Robert FROST is listed in the 1920 census of Amherst, Hampshire County, MA.

      Robert is listed in the 1920 census as a teacher who was then 44 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, he was born in about 1876. According to the 1920 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in MA, and his mother was born in Scotland.

      Listed with Robert is his wife, Elinor, who was then 45 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, she was born in about 1875. According to the 1920 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in MA, and her mother was born in NH.

      Also listed with Robert is his daughter, Lesley, who was then 20 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, she was born in about 1900. According to the 1920 census, she was born in NH, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert is his son, Carroll, who was then 17 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, he was born in about 1903. According to the 1920 census, he was born in NH, his father was born in CA, and his mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert is his daughter, Irma, who was then 16 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, she was born in about 1904. According to the 1920 census, she was born in NH, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert is his daughter, Marjorie, who was then 14 years of age; therefore, according to the 1920 census, she was born in about 1906. According to the 1920 census, she was born in NH, her father was born in CA, and her mother was born in MA.

      Also listed with Robert is an apparently unrelated boarder.

      (11) A household headed by Robert L. FROST is listed in the 1930 census of Shaftsbury, Bennington County, VT.

      Robert L. is listed in the 1930 census as a professor who was then 55 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, he was born in about 1875. According to the 1930 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in NH, and his mother was born in Scotland. According to the 1930 census, he was 20 years of age at his first marriage.

      Listed with Robert L. is his wife, Eleanor, who was then 56 years of age; therefore, according to the 1930 census, she was born in about 1874. According to the 1930 census, she was born in MA, her father was born in MA, and her mother was born in NH. According to the 1930 census, she was 21 years of age at his first marriage.

      (12) Social Security Death Index:

      Name: Robert Frost
      SSN: 015-26-1987
      Last Residence: Massachusetts
      Born: 26 Mar 1874
      Died: Jan 1963
      State (Year) SSN issued: Massachusetts (1951)

      (13) www.findagrave.com:

      Robert Frost
      Birth: Mar. 26, 1874
      Death: Jan. 29, 1963

      [Inscription: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world."]

      Acclaimed writer and poet. Born in San Francisco, his family moved to Massachusetts after the death of his father. Frost attended Dartmouth college, but stayed for less than one term. He returned to Massachusetts and taught school, worked in a factory, and was a journalist. His first poem, Butterfly: An Elegy was published in 1894. He entered Harvard in 1897, and stayed just short of two years. He became a farmer and wrote much of his early work during this time. Unsuccessful at farming, he turned to teaching again and published two of his most accomplished early poems, The Tuft of Flowers and The Trial by Existence in 1906. He moved his family to England in 1912, and published A Boy's Will in 1913. Returning to the states in 1915, he published North of Boston, which was lauded by editors and critics in New York and Boston. Frost went on to win four Pulitzer Prizes: 1924 for New Hampshire, 1931 for Collected Poems, 1937 for A Further Range, and in 1943 for A Witness Tree. His last reading before a large audience was in December of 1962. He was hospitalized the next day for a prostate operation, but suffered a heart attack while convalescing. After a series of embolisms, he died in January. His best-known works are Mending Wall, The Road Not Taken, and Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening. (bio by: VampireRed)

      Burial: Old Bennington Cemetery, Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont, USA

      Maintained by: Find A Grave
      Record added: Jan 01, 2001
      Find A Grave Memorial# 371
    Person ID I15551  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2021 

    Father William Prescott FROST, Jr.,   b. 27 Dec 1850, Kingston, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 May 1885, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Mother Isabella MOODIE,   b. 16 Sep 1844, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1900, Merrimack County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Married 18 Mar 1874  Lewistown, Mifflin County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F6828  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elinor Miriam WHITE,   b. 25 Oct 1873, Acton, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Mar 1938, Gainesville, Alachua County, FL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Married 28 Dec 1895  Lawrence, Essex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Source: Anna Kasper .
    Children 
     1. Elliott FROST,   b. 25 Sep 1896, Lawrence, Essex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jul 1900, Methuen, Essex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 3 years)
     2. Lesley FROST,   b. 28 Apr 1899, Lawrence, Essex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jul 1983, Fairfield, Fairfield County, CT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     3. Carol FROST,   b. 27 May 1902, Derry, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Oct 1940, Shaftsbury, Bennington County, VT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
     4. Irma FROST,   b. 26 Jun 1903, Derry, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Apr 1981, Moretown, Washington County, VT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     5. Marjorie FROST,   b. 29 Mar 1905, Derry, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 May 1934, Rochester, Olmsted County, MN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
     6. Elinor Bettina FROST,   b. 20 Jun 1907, Derry, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jun 1907, Derry, Rockingham County, NH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2021 
    Family ID F6827  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos


    Headstones
    Robert Lee FROST
    Robert Lee FROST