Frost Term Paper 1

Frost Term Paper 1 - EN 313; Parthasarathy Modern Poetry...

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EN 313; Parthasarathy Modern Poetry Term Paper I A Lover of Walls Robert Frost is widely considered the most popular American poet of all time. He lived a life of fame, the likes of which were unheard of for a poet in America. The American people felt, and still do to a large extent, connected to the man’s poetry. This strikes me as particularly strange considering that he was writing during the height of the modernists who often would try to express the disjointed nature of the world through their poetry. For this reason, I do not consider Frost a modernist at all, and, with his love of nature and his sense of the sublime, more akin to the Romantics. Frost wrote poetry for the masses (though of course no poet in his right mind would admit such a thing). For this reason, modern readers of poetry might be very weary to oblige a poet of the proletariat. At the same time, though, they are unable to ignore this literary magnate. Being so hesitant and yet unavoidably drawn to his poems, I personally must say that reading his poems was an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it was also somewhat unsettling. There is much in Frost’s poetry to admire. Perhaps the most impressive quality of his work, and indeed what he claimed to 1
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pay the most attention to, was the music of it. “The sound is the gold in the ore” (The Figure a Poem Makes 55), he wrote. In “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” Frost inverts the syntax of the first line and, as a result, the poem starts with the repeated soft w-sound. This sound gets repeated throughout the poem and seems to represent the “easy wind and downy flake” (12). Frost similarly employs an anastrophe at the beginning of “Mending Wall” to emphasize the word “something.” These two examples are from his earlier career as a poet and are quite distinct from his later works. I personally feel, for reasons I will get into shortly, that Frost’s early poetry is superior to his later poetry because I read the voice as more honest and natural. Frost’s poetry had a hand in opening my eyes to the -for lack of a better word- charm of New England. The place reeks of history, of that I’m sure. Having attended a boarding school located quite literally north of Boston, I can attest to fact that there are ghosts in the trees and bodies in the earth. That is, nature is alive there. This knowledge was already inside of me, but it took the poetry of Frost to bring it to light. He wrote, “it is our business to give people the thing that will make them say, ‘Oh yes I know what you mean.’ It is never to tell them something they don’t know, but something they know and hadn’t thought of saying. It must be something they recognize” 2
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(Sentence Sounds 52). In this sense, a poem like “The Wood-Pile” is as much a part of my experience as it is that of Frost’s, though I must question how much of a connection somebody who has never been to New England would feel with Frost and a poem like “The Wood-Pile.” This connection is what Robert Pinsky called, in his
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Frost Term Paper 1 - EN 313; Parthasarathy Modern Poetry...

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