Robert Frost was a highly regarded American poet. He attended several schools but never got a degree although sixteen honorary degrees were conferred upon him later by many universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard.
Professional success came to Frost very late in life. He pursued many avocations. He was in turn a teacher, cobbler, editor, and farmer. He received several awards in his lifetime including four Pulitzers and in the end was made America’s national poet.
His personal life however was plagued with grief and loss. His father died when he was 11 years old and his mother died of cancer later. His sister had to be admitted into a mental hospital where she lived for 9 years. Mental illness seemed to run in the family.
Frost and his mother suffered from chronic depression and his wife too experienced frequent bouts of depression.
Frost had 6 children two of whom committed suicide and two died of disease. Only two children survived him.
Frost summed up his life with these words on his epitaph “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
"Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" was Frost's favourite of his own poems. The last stanza of this poem is very famous and often quoted.
STOPPING BY THE WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Here is a beautiful recitation of this poem