‘Stopping by …’ Robert Frost’s poetry to mark his sesquicentennial

Robert Frost in about 1910. (Photo in public domain.)

ON MARCH 26, 1874, Robert Frost was born not in New England, as many of his readers may assume, but in San Francisco. In fact, he did not become a New England farmer until 1900, when his grandfather gave him and his wife Elinor a farm in Derry, New Hampshire. He had suffered from ill health during his studies at Harvard and his family assumed that moving to a farm might improve his health. In fact, contrary to popular assumptions, Frost was a terrible farmer at first.

Of course, farming fueled much of his poetic vision, which eventually led to his becoming the only poet ever to win four Pulitzer Prizes. (He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature 31 times, but never won that award.)

His legacy has shaped American culture in countless ways, including during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, countless references in films and TV shows and in the works of such best-selling novelists as George R.R. Martin and Stephenie Meyer. And, he was a huge influence on the life and work of Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky.

To mark this milestone, and the publication of a special new selection of Frost’s most beloved poems by the Library of America, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm wrote this tribute to Frost (and Brodsky’s promotion of Frost) in Goodreads, headlined: Sharing Poetic Pointers with Old Friends

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