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Robert Frost’s Birthday

Robert Frost is one of the most well-known and widely respected American poets. His work was noted for its portrayal of life in New England and 20th Century life and moral questions in general. Images from his poems, such as “the road less traveled,” have gained a footing in American popular culture. In his lifetime, Frost received 4 Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, and in 1960, he received a Congressional Gold Medal.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost is a great figure to study for National Poetry Month, which is celebrated in April every year. His birthday just precedes it (March 26th). Much of Frost’s most famous poems were written while maintaining a farm in New Hampshire. The farm is now known as The Frost Place, and can be visited by students to gain more insight into the lifestyle of Robert Frost. Robert Frost spent much of his life teaching, despite not having graduated from college.

What takeaways can students take from Robert Frost’s life, work, and writing style for a National Poetry Month book?

Style

While many poets around him were experimenting with form in verse, Robert Frost preferred to use traditional poetic meters. He found that these restrictions helped him focus on the content he wanted to convey in his poems. One remarkable aspect of Frost’s work is his use of fairly colloquial language. In many ways his poems were regarded as rustic, or even folksy, due to their lack of reliance on more flashy poetic language. A great potential middle school writing project for Studentreaures is to have students write poems in what they think of as language they hear used every day.

Themes

Frost was very influenced by his farm in New England, and many of his poems have a distinctly rural or northeastern influence. His poems also deal with family dramas, relationships and nature, and the feeling of an individual facing the world fundamentally alone. For an elementary school writing project, encourage students to write poems about their location, and the beautiful things and conflicts that occur there.

Public Figure

Robert Frost, in life and death, enjoys an enormous stature in the eyes of the American public. One of his most public roles was reading “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Ask students what writers or poets they are familiar with, who are in the public eye and influence the way many Americans think about their lives, and why their writing affects so many people.

Robert Frost is a great poet to focus on for National Poetry Month. Students can recite his poems with relative ease, and recordings exist of Frost reading his work for students to study.

How do you plan on using Robert Frost during National Poetry Month? Let us know in the comments!

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