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What "momentous decision" was made by Robert Frost in 1912 as it relates to his poem...

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premkumaracce | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM via web

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What "momentous decision" was made by Robert Frost in 1912 as it relates to his poem The Road Not Taken?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM (Answer #1)

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The Road Not Taken was written by Robert Frost in 1916 as his career as a bona fide poet was establishing itself. The poem is about making life-altering decisions but it is widely held that Frost wrote this poem, not from his own perspective but that of his friend, Edward Thomas, who found any decision in life to be challenging and treated even minor choices as if they had the capacity to transform life itself.

Frost's own "momentous decision" in 1912 was when he took advantage of an opportunity to travel overseas and settle in London with his family. He based his decision on the fact that he had long wished for recognition as a poet and this may have been the chance he had waited for as, at home, he spent much time providing for his family to the detriment of his poetry and writing.

On arrival in London, he had A Boy's Will published in 1913 and North of Boston in 1914 and his friendship with Ezra Pound, a well-known American living in London, ensured that Frost's reputation began to precede him.

It was due to the outbreak of war that he chose to return to America. His short stay in London was. however, enough to establish his career  and the recognition he had sought no longer eluded him.  

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM (Answer #2)

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Robert Frost spent much of his life in the New England area with his family. He lived with his mother in Lawrence, Massachusetts after the death of his father. Later, he lived in New Hampshire with his wife and children. During this time he worked, attended college, and wrote articles and poems.

In 1912, Robert Frost made a big move, taking his family to England. They stayed in England until 1915. The poem "The Road Not Taken" was published in 1916. While we could speculate about Frost's inspiration for the poem, including the possibility of the move to England, it is best to turn to Frost himself for this claim. "Frost would often introduce the poem in public readings by saying that the speaker was based on his Welsh friend Edward Thomas." 

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