Robert Frost ‘not just a nature poet’
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on 26 March 1874. He moved to New England when he was a teenager and attended high school there. He was honoured as an exceptional student. He fell in love with Elinor White and later went on to marry her. The two began a family while Frost worked as a farmer. In 1912 he moved to England and was able to entirely devote himself to writing due to the money received from selling the farm. Frost endured a series of family tragedies later in life. His best loved daughter Majorie died of septicaemia in 1934. In 1938 his wife Elinor died suddenly of a heart attack and in 1940 his son Carol committed suicide. It is undeniable that the theme of nature appears frequently in his poetry yet it is unfair to say that frost is merely a nature poet as he deals with issues and themes such as isolation, shared experience, nostalgia, despair and the fragility of life in other poems. The poem ‘ATOF’ contains the element of nature yet the poem focuses more on isolation and the theme of shared experience. One day frost went out to work the field and ‘turn the grass’. He noticed it had been done already by the previous man. Frost tries looking for the man but admits he has ‘gone his way’. This leaves Frost with the realisation of his isolation in the field. Just as he contemplates his isolation a butterfly draws his attention to a ‘tuft of flowers’ which are a ‘leaping tongue of bloom’. Frost realises that the man before him had left them. He acknowledges that he did not leave them for others such as himself or that they were left as a mark of the mower’s earlier presence. It was the ‘sheer morning gladness’ that inspired the mower to spare this solitary tuft of flowers. Frost metaphorically compares the work of the mower and his scythe which left the tuft of flowers to that of his pen which creates poems such as this one. This forms a close tie between the speaker and the mower....
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