Robert Frost American Literature Analysis
Frost is that rare twentieth century poet who achieved both enormous popularity and critical acclaim. In an introductory essay to his collected poems, Frost insists that a poem “will forever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance. It can never lose its sense of a meaning that once unfolded by surprise as it went,” an observation that applies to most of his three hundred-odd poems. Once his work came into circulation, its freshness and deceptive simplicity captivated audiences that shied away from more difficult poets such as T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens, while astute critics came to recognize the subtlety of thought and feeling that so often pervade these “simple” poems.
North of Boston ranks among the most original books of American poetry. Its title suggests its locale; one of the titles Frost originally proposed for it, “Farm Servants,” indicates its typical subject matter. Most of its best-known poems—“Mending Wall,” “The Death of the Hired Man,” “Home Burial,” “The Wood-Pile”—are in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter). The language consists of everyday words, Frost having discarded the “poetic” vocabulary that he had occasionally used in A Boy’s Will. None of these features was new in poetry, but in combination they result in strikingly innovative poetry.
The works in this volume represent the conscious application of a theory which Frost set forth most directly in...
(The entire section is 5845 words.)
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