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Robert Frost

Robert Frost Robert Frost was a celebrated American poet who received four Pulitzer Prices, among many other awards. Early years Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California, on March 26, 1874, to William Prescott Frost Jr. and Isabelle Moodie. His father, a journalist and local politician, died when Robert was 11 years old. He and his mother moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts, to live with his paternal grandfather. Robert wrote his first poems while in high school, from which he graduated in 1892 as co-valedictorian with the woman he was to marry, Elinor Miriam White. In the fall of 1892, Robert entered Dartmouth College, but stayed for less than a term. He returned to Lawrence to teach, and work at various jobs, including factory hand and newspaperman. In 1894, he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly: An Elegy," to a New York magazine, The Independent. In December 1895, he and Elinor were married. Poetry as a vocation Frost continued to teach, write, and publish his poems in magazines. He attended Harvard from 1897 to 1899, but left without a degree and returned to Lawrence. Frost's grandfather purchased a farm for him in Derry, New Hampshire, where he lived and worked for the next nine years, continuing to write poems. He took a teaching position in 1906, at Pinkerton Academy. That year, two of his early poems, "The Tuft of Flowers" and "The Trial by Existence," were published. During that period, he and Elinor had six children, two of whom died in infancy. After a year of teaching at the State Normal School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, Frost sold the farm. In the fall of 1912, he sailed with his family from Boston to Glasgow, then settled in Beaconsfield, outside of London. Beaconsfield Shortly after arriving in Britain, Frost published his first collection of poems, A Boy’s Will in 1913. That book was followed by North Boston in 1914, which contains some of his best-known poems, including; “Mending Wall," "The Death of the Hired Man," "Home Burial," "After Apple-Picking," and "The Wood-Pile." He won international recognition from his collections. Frost returned to the States in 1915 when England entered World War I. He purchased a farm near Franconia, New Hampshire, then launched a career of writing, teaching and lecturing. Honors From 1916 to 1938, Frost was an English professor at Amherst College. In 1916, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In the same year appeared his third collection of poems, Mountain Interval, which contained such poems as "The Road Not Taken," "Birches," and "The Hill Wife." In 1924, Frost won his first of four Pulitzer Prizes for his fourth book, New Hampshire, and followed it up with West-Running Brook in 1928. In 1929, Robert and Elinor moved onto a farm they had purchased in South Shaftsbury, Vermont. In 1931, he won a second Pulitzer for Collected Poems. In 1936, A Further Range also won a Pulitzer. {In what state is South Shaftsbury? done} Personal tragedies From the 1930s to 1940, Frost endured a number of family disasters. In 1934, his youngest and best-loved child, Marjorie, died a slow death from the puerperal fever she contracted after giving birth to her first child. In 1938, his wife suddenly died of a heart attack. When he seemed to be pulling things together once more, his son, Carol, committed suicide in 1940. Following his wife's death, Frost met Kathleen Morrison and asked her to marry him. She refused, but agreed to work for him as a secretary. She maintained his lecture schedule for the remainder of his life. In 1942, Frost published A Witness Tree, which he dedicated to Kathleen. He won his fourth Pulitzer Price for it in 1943. With the exception of the publishing of a major poem, “Directive,” in his 1947 volume, Steeple Bush, his poetry after World War II was at best occasional, a relaxation from earlier intense output. In 1957, Frost returned to England to receive honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge universities. In 1961, he recited his poem, "The Gift Outright," at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

Not many miles left

On March 26, 1962, In the Clearing, Frost's ninth and last collection of poems, appeared on his 88th birthday. In December, Frost underwent a prostate operation, and the doctors found cancer in his prostate and bladder. He suffered a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism while recuperating, then suffered another embolism and died on January 29, 1963. His ashes are interred at the Frost family plot in Old Bennington, Vermont. In October 1963, at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library at Amherst, President Kennedy paid tribute to the poetry and to the poet.