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I figured I would start with a little overall introduction to Frost. Below are some of the big events that I think shaped his life. We can revist each in more detail as we go through the poems. I also include a paragraph on the question that interests me most about Frost: the perception of Frost in this country and the reality of his poetry. As I said when I first suggested this discussion, my knowledge of Frost comes from a project I did on his bio. in grad school. If the below sounds like it is something you would see in a college essay, well it is.

On the 26th of March, 1874 a physician arrived at the San Francisco home of William and Belle Frost to deliver the couple's first child. Upon the physician's arrival, the expecting father pulled out a Colt revolver and threatened to kill the doctor if anything happened to either his wife or child. A number of hours later, the physician delivered a baby boy; thus began the traumatic life of America's most popular poets. Throughout his life, Robert Frost met with repeated tragedy. In 1900 Frost's first son Elliot died at the age of three. Elliot's death marked a turning point in Frost's relationship with his wife Elinor. A bitter deterioration began within the relationship that ultimately affected every member of the family. In 1907 Frost's sixth child died after living only two days. In 1920 Frost committed his sister Jeanie to an insane asylum; twenty years later Frost's daughter Irma followed suit. In 1934 Frost lost a second daughter, Marjorie, when she succumbed to tuberculosis. Six years later, two years after his wife's death, Frost's son Carol ended his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Frost ultimately outlived four of his six children and saw one of the remaining two institutionalized.

Frost has earned the title of America's most beloved poet. Throughout his career he was awarded four Pulitzer prizes, more than any other writer. His poetry has become a part of the American vernacular with phrases like “Good fences make good neighbors” appearing on billboards and poems like “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” becoming an introduction to poetry for countless schoolchildren. These popular poems exemplify the contradiction in the perception of Frost's work. Frost is often seen as a white-haired New England poet writing idyllic verse about America. In reality his poetry often reflects the trauma and pain that existed within his life.

1FW
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