The Most Influential Poets of All Time: Robert Frost

One of the most recognizable names in poetry is Robert Frost. Known for works such as The Road Not Taken, he has influenced American poets immensely.

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Robert frost poets

Robert Frost, born Robert Lee Frost, was an American poet born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. His works were known for his American colloquial speech. He wrote about the rural life of New England in the early 20th century, and his settings were used to examine complex social and philosophical themes. Unlike most American poets, his fame actually started in England.

Robert Frost poets
Image Via the New Yorker

He became famous for his poetry’s engagement with the New England environment, identities, and themes. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892 as a class poet. In 1894, the New York Independent accepted his poem My Butterfly. This launched his career as a professional poet. His first book was published around the age of forty, but he would go on to win four Pulitzer Prizes.

He was the most famous poet of his time. To celebrate his first publication, Frost had a book of six poems privately printed. Two copies of Twilight were made — one for himself and one for his fiancee. Over the next eight years, he succeeded in having only thirteen more poems published.

In 1912, after being discouraged by American magazines rejecting his work, he moved to England with his family. There, he found professional success. He got A Boy’s Will published as well as North of Boston. This reestablished his reputation and returned to the United States in 1915 as a celebrated poet.

Although he aligned himself with no particular movement, the images he depicted and created in his work granted him amazing success. In the years before his death, he was considered the unofficial poet laureate of the United States. On his 75th birthday, the US Senate passed a resolution in his honor which stated:

His poems have helped to guide American thought and humor and wisdom, setting forth to our minds a reliable representation of ourselves and of all men

US Senate

In 1955, the state of Vermont named a mountain after him in Ripton. At the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy, Frost was given the unprecedented honor of being asked to read one of his poems.

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FEATURED IMAGE VIA THE NEW YORKER