Presentation on theme: "Robert Frost(1874-1963) ※ 4 Pulitzer Prizes ※ read poetry at a presidential inauguration. ※ received honorary degrees from 44 colleges ※ unofficial poet."— Presentation transcript:
Robert Frost( ) ※ 4 Pulitzer Prizes ※ read poetry at a presidential inauguration. ※ received honorary degrees from 44 colleges ※ unofficial poet Laureate, one of the most celebrated American’s modernist poets
I.Biographical Introduction born in San Francisco in his mother brought him to New England at his eleven, with which his poetry has always been associated. After graduating from high school in 1892, Frost entered Dartmouth College but soon left to work at old jobs and to write poetry. In 1897, he was accepted as a special student by Harvard but withdrew after two years because of his increasing dislike for academic convention. For the next twelve years, Frost made a minimal living by teaching and farming while continuing to write his poems.
In 1912, he and his family moved to England, where he found a publisher for his first book of verse, A boy’s will (1913). Determined to win recognition in his native land, Frost returned to the US and settled on a farm in his native land. By the end of his life he had become a national poet; he received honorary degrees from forty-four colleges and universities and won four Pulitzer Prizes; the United States senate passed resolutions honoring his birthdays and when he was eighty-seven he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
II. Main Works A Boy’s Will 1913 > North of Boston, 1914 > Mountain Interval, 1916 > New Hampshire 1923 > Collected Poems 1930 > A Further Range 1936 > A Witness Tree 1942 >
III. Frost’s View and Theme His poetry concerns New England’s nature. He saw nature as a storehouse of analogy and symbol, so his concern with nature reflected deep moral uncertainties. His poetry often probes mysterious of darkness and irrationality in the bleak and chaotic landscapes of an indifferent universe. The quest of the solitary person to make sense of the world has become the central theme of all Frost’s collections and made his poetry among the most accessible of modern writers. The poetry of Robert Frost combined pastoral imagery with solitary philosophical themes.
IV. Frost’s Style rejected the revolutionary poetic principles of his contemporaries, used traditional forms such as the blank verse, plain language of rural New Englanders, and a graceful style. there is a steady tone of wry humor, and a virtually inexhaustible verbal grace. He used symbols from everyday country life to express his deep ideas. As a whole, Frost’s art is an act of clarification, which, without simplifying the truth, renders it in some degree accessible to everyone.
V. About the Poem “The Road Not Taken” Frost claims that he wrote this poem about his friend Edward Thomas, with whom he had walked many times in the woods near London. Frost has said that while walking they would come to different paths and after choosing one, Thomas would always felt wondering what they might have missed by not taking the other path. About the poem, Frost asserted, “You have to be careful of that one; it’s a tricky poem– very tricky.” Superficially, the poem has been and continues to be used as an inspirational poem, encouraging self-reliance, not following where others have led. But a close reading of the poem proves not so.
The Framework of the Poem Stanza One---- Describes Situations Stanza Two---- Decides to Take Less-travelled Road Stanza Three---- Continues Description of Road Stanza Four----Recalls the Road Taken and Not Taken
Appreciating the Poem “The Road Not Taken” Reflective Questions: 1. According to this poem, is Frost an innovative poet or not? Why? 2. What does the speaker do when facing two diverged roads? What is the speaker’s initial response? 3. Describe the similarities and differences of these two roads. Why does he choose the other road?
4. How do you understand the word “sigh”?Is it a kind of nostalgic relief or regret? 5. What might the two roads stand for in the speaker’s mind? (the symbolic meanings) 6. Why does Frost himself claim that this is a tricky poem? What does he want to convey in this poem?
4. How do you understand the word “sigh”?Is it a kind of nostalgic relief or regret? The word “sigh” is a tricky word. Because sigh can be interpreted into nostalgic relief or regret. If it is the relief sigh, then the difference means the speaker feels glad with the road he took. If it is the regret sigh, then the difference would not be good, and the speaker would be sighing in regret. Hence, sigh is ambigous here for the speaker is not showing whether his choice is right or wrong.
5. What might the two roads stand for in the speaker’s mind? Clearly, this poem is endowed with abundant symbolic meanings. In the speaker’s mind, the two roads not only refer to the real roads he has to take while walking in the yellow wood, more sigificantly, it means two different ways of life when one hesitates before the life’s crossroad. Different choices will lead to different futures. For the poet, it also shows his attitude towards poetry creation. “He prefers to take the less-travelled road” suggests that he doesn’t follow suit but employs the traditional pattern in spite of the influence of modernist innovation
6. Why does Frost himself claim that this is a tricky poem? What is the theme this poem? Three things make his poem tricky---- the time frame, and the words “sigh” and “difference”. Traditionally, this poem has been understood as an inspirational poem, seeming to encouraging people to be self-reliant and not following where others have led. Actually, it does not moralize about choice, it simply says that choice is inevitable but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it. This is also the theme of the poem.