An Analysis of Three Robert Frost Poems

Essay by SherylP January 2010

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Robert Frost (1874-1963), the four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, was a teacher and a lecturer. He wrote many poems that became popular and were oft-quoted. He is regarded for realistic depictions of rural life, and for the command of American colloquial speech. His works though were set in rural New England of early twentieth century; he used them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.

His poems were at times bittersweet, sometimes ironic, or just marve-ling at his surroundings. In them we can get to see some poignant de-tails of his personal life. He suffered devastating losses in his life-untimely deaths of his sister, two of his children, and then his wife. Though he experienced depths of despair, he did not lose his capacity to delight in simple things of life.

Both his parents were teachers, who exposed him very early on to the world of books, reading. He passionately studied the works of William Shakespeare, Robert Burns and William Wordsworth.

He also devel-oped an enduring love for nature, the great outdoors, and especially for the rustic countryside.

THE ROAD NOT TAKENThis poem of four stanzas talks about a scene, wherein a road in woods diverges into two separate roads. The traveler must choose one of the two. There are no compelling differences between the two to make the choice easier, like the many situations we encounter in our personal lives. Our life is all about the choices we make. That's the central theme of the poem. When we stand at the fork of two roads, we must choose which to take, doubts as to which is better assail us. The poet shows us the way in this eternal dilemma of choice. He takes the road less traveled. That demands independent thinking and choice making rather than following the...